Signs of Depression

After having very open conversations over the holidays with some young adults (late teens, early twenties) it was clear I needed to post a blog listing some of the signs or symptoms of DEPRESSION.

I ask that you pass this blog along because it may help someone realize they are not being ‘weak’, ‘lazy’ and they just need to ‘suck it up’ but rather they are struggling with a very real medical condition that can be TREATED.

According to the Mayo Clinic depression is characterized by several of the following signs or symptoms:

1. PERSISTENT SADNESS: Feeling down, sad or empty. You may cry all the time or report feeling numb.

2. IRRITABILITY: Easily irritated and get upset over things that never used to bother you.

3. FEELINGS OF ANXIETY: You may be unusually nervous, worried or preoccupied with minor concerns. You may feel restless or experience upset stomach or butterflies.

4. LOSS OF INTEREST OR PLEASURE IN LIFE: Losing the ability to find pleasure in people, hobbies or activities you previously found enjoyable.

5. NEGLECT OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES OR CARE: You may forget to pay your bills, fall behind at your job/school work or pay less attention to how you present yourself.

6. CHANGE IN EATING HABITS: Loss of appetite and losing weight without trying or you may overeat and gain weight.

7. CHANGE IN SLEEPING PATTERNS: Trouble falling asleep at night, awaken frequently or wake up early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may also sleep too much and spend most of the day in bed.

8. FATIGUE OR LOSS OF ENERGY: Low energy and feel tired all the time.

9. DECREASED CONCENTRATION, ATTENTION AND MEMORY: Trouble concentrating and keeping your mind focused on tasks at work, school or home. Making decisions, even simple ones become difficult. You forget things easily.

10. FEELINGS OF HELPLESSNESS: You may feel as if you’re no longer in control of your life. You may become easily overwhelmed by stress and more dependent upon other people, even for simple tasks.

11. FEELINGS OF HOPELESSNESS: Difficulty seeing a bright and positive future and have a sense that things will never get better. Reassurance from others doesn’t help. Motivating yourself becomes impossible and you wonder if life is worth living.

12. FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS OR GUILT: You may begin to feel as if you aren’t good enough, causing you to withdraw from others. You may feel guilty about things you normally wouldn’t think twice about.

13. CONTINUOUS NEGATIVE THINKING: You may become pessimistic, have low self-esteem and not believe that things will get better. Phrases such as “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough” or “What’s the point?” may become normal phrases that you use.

14. PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: More headaches, suffer with chronic pain, digestive disorders or constant fatigue.

15. INCREASED ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE: You may try to seek relief from your depressive symptoms with alcohol or drugs. Because these substances affect brain function, they will make depression worse.

16. THOUGHTS OF DEATH OR SUICIDE: You may wish you were dead and have thoughts such as, “If I could just fall asleep and not wake up, my family would be better off.” Or you may experience actual thoughts of killing yourself.

If some of those signs are currently affecting your life, you can take a test to further investigate whether you may be suffering with depression or anxiety at www.mindcheck.ca

IF YOU ARE HAVING THOUGHTS OF DEATH OR SUICIDE, SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.

Other avenues of support would be psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor or local community health organization. Mindcheck also lists great RESOURCES

Not everyone understands depression so if you have already spoken to a friend or family member and didn’t receive the support you were looking for, do not stop there. It’s important to realize you are NOT weak or lazy and it isn’t about ‘sucking it up’.

DEPRESSION IS A MEDICAL CONDITION NOT A CHARACTER FLAW.

Ultimately if you are noticing the quality of your life declining, please get help. You do not have to suffer.

With compassion and love,

Tina

PS. Information listed was taken from the book “Mayo Clinic on Depression”

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013!

The holidays can be a difficult time for some and a glorious time for others. Some relish in the preparation and excitement of having company. They enjoy cooking, decorating and shopping, constantly being busy going here and there. Others find the holidays a sad, dark and stressful time…perhaps feeling lonely or just completely overwhelmed. They can’t wait until it’s over so they can get back into their normal routine. I have experienced both in my lifetime.

This year I spent the holidays surrounded by LOVE and FRIENDSHIP. We spent time visiting, connecting, laughing, hugging, and playing music (singing). It was awesome!

My heart connections are so important to me. Spending TIME with people, that’s what a life should be built upon. Your relationships with people are your legacy. It’s how you live on after you’ve gone. I still have so many people to see and it won’t happen on this trip but it’s made me realize the importance of TIME and the VALUE of relationships.

Yesterday I spent my last day in 2012 visiting a dear friend I’ve known since I was 16. She was my teacher and now she’s my dear friend. I cuddled my niece and nephew as we watched a movie together. I played games with my friends and toasted to the New Year. These were small, meaningful moments and I loved each and every minute.

This morning I started the New Year by having breakfast with those same friends then I went out for a chilly but invigorating and very FUN run with another dear friend. It’s a great way to start the New Year…exercising in the fresh air with someone you enjoy laughing, chatting and catching up.

Life is about heart connections, life lessons, growth and personal challenges. I don’t know my exact path for the coming year but I do believe that LOVE will be at its core.

May 2013 treat you with kind and loving hands and the choices you make bring you closer to yourSELF ultimately bringing you closer to those you love.

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to another year of sharing, learning, growing, changing, challenging and expressing my thoughts, heart and experiences. Thank YOU for being here.

With a smile,

Tina

 

From My Heart To Yours…

 From my family to yours…

May the spirit of Christmas warm your heart with LOVE, KINDNESS and GRATITUDE.

Remember to appreciate the TIME we have with each other and to make the moments meaningful. Put aside the petty arguments, negativity or stress. Remember what’s important: Loving one another.

To those who may be alone or missing someone today, my heart sends you the biggest, warmest hug.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs and sharing them with others.  Your love and support is greatly appreciated.

From my heart to yours,

Tina and Munchie

Man Himself Is The Greatest Peril To Man

I have many thoughts and emotions regarding the recent details and coverage of the massacre in Connecticut and stabbings in China. My heart weeps for the ones lost and the ones who remain. I have a thousand thoughts but no real words to express myself properly. I suppose I’m still processing. What is apparent is the great debate and strong opinions around:

• Gun control

• Mental health issues

• Safety in schools

• USA deaths by guns versus the rest of the world

• Media coverage (inappropriate interviewing of young victims, sensationalizing etc.)

• Religion to be put back into schools

Emotions run high leaving us with many things to discuss, argue and condemn based on the various opinions.

For me, it’s clear that part of the problem is MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLNESS.

I just don’t believe anyone with good mental health would commit such crimes against another life.

Until we make mental health a PRIORITY both for ourselves, our family, our workplace and society as a whole, we are going to have problems. Globally, mental illnesses are on the rise so it needs our attention. If we continue to ignore its importance we will continue to have tragedies.

It is not with FEAR we should approach this subject but with a fierce DETERMINATION to support and strive for healthy mental and emotional wellness.

In my opinion, it needs to be TOP PRIORITY for EVERYTHING else is affected by how healthy or unhealthy you are inside your head. It is the quiet but explosive epidemic in our world today.

Carl Jung repeatedly said:

I am convinced that exploration of the psyche is the science of the future…this is the science we need most of all, for it is gradually becoming more and more obvious that neither famine nor earthquakes nor microbes nor carcinoma, but MAN HIMSELF IS THE GREATEST PERIL TO MAN, just because there is no adequate defense against psychic epidemics, which cause infinitely more devastation than the greatest natural catastrophes.

Not only do we need to make mental and emotional wellness our priority but we need to take a good look at our societal VALUES and MORAL COMPASS.

Mindless television programs, gossip magazines or social media grapevines are NOT part of my life. I do not want my brain (which affects my thoughts, actions, perspectives, words etc) to be filled with rubbish. Garbage in will lead to garbage out.

I do not find name calling, back stabbing, lying, cheating, and criticizing entertaining.

Where is the RESPECT for your fellow human being and for yourSELF?

Is this how we HONOR another person, another LIFE?

Where do LOVE, KINDNESS, EMPATHY/COMPASSION, HONESTY and INTEGRITY rate in the list of PRIORITIES?

Are we teaching these values to our children? Are we showing them by example what they mean?

Ultimately our issues whether they be gun control, environmental concerns, bullying or homelessness is a PEOPLE issue…it’s a matter of CHOICES individually and as a whole. I realize I am greatly simplifying things, but perhaps that’s what we need to do: simplify.

I don’t pretend to have the answer but I do believe by putting MENTAL HEALTH and STRONG MORALS as a PRIORITY it will only HELP and not hinder our society and our own lives.

With a smile,

Tina

 

 

Life Is Fragile

This past weekend I flew to Calgary, AB to visit with family and stay with my niece, her husband and their beautiful baby boy.

I have such enormous respect for parents…the sleepless nights, illnesses, extreme sleep deprivation, the incredible patience required to get through hours of screaming or projectile vomiting. Small and big sacrifices that you do for your child, and the amazing planning for the simplest of things…to go to the store to buy groceries, plan a workout, clean your house or go out for lunch. Let’s not forget the volume of laundry and dirty dishes and that you are soon capable of carrying more weight with bags full of toys, blankets, bottles, diapers, clothes and anything else you may need in all possible circumstances!

Although you could read a thousand books, talk to all your friends, quiz your own parents on what it will be like to be a new parent, nothing really prepares you for the change in lifestyle.

Everyone should spend time with an infant because your perspective on life changes.

You appreciate TIME.

You appreciate SLEEP.

You appreciate LOVE.

You appreciate HEALTH.

You realize how fragile life is and how as adults we take it for granted. We were ALL that fragile, innocent and beautiful.

We were once ALL children learning about the world and understanding the complexities of life.

Every single person you come across in a day was once a tiny, innocent and fragile little baby.

Today they may be prostitutes, drug addicts or petty thieves. They may be angry, bitter or deeply sad. Perhaps they are extremely insecure, incredibly shy or emotionally immature. Once upon a time, they were infants, just like you.

We ALL relied on others to take care of us so we were on their journey as much as we are on our own. As adults it’s now OUR CHOICE on how to live our life.

Spending time with an infant just shows how DELICATE, PRECIOUS and FRAGILE life truly is and that moments in time are there to be TREASURED, HONORED and DEEPLY APPRECIATED.

LIFE DESERVES RESPECT.

Today offer KINDNESS, COMPASSION and LOVE to those who you feel may not deserve it. (This includes yourSELF.) You do not know their journey and perhaps although once innocent they lost their way because no one showed them the power of a kind word, a loving hug or simple understanding…

We are all children of the world; let’s treat each other as such.

With a smile,

Tina