This week's Frazzled Female study is about depression. It's really speaking to me, almost tearfully. I realized early last year that I was probably dealing with post-partum depression. I went to the doctor and had bloodwork done, but nothing physiological was wrong. I didn't follow up with counseling or medication, and haven't really put much thought into it until this week. I think it's gotten better, but I still have bouts here and there. This end of winter is getting me a little more blue waiting for spring and warm outside days.
I think most people have dealt with depression at one point or another. Stress of any kind can bring it on, kids can do it (oh, yeah), and even medications, medical conditions, or family history. There was a list of symptoms that were listed and said if you are experiencing 5 or more of these for 2 weeks or more, then you're likely to be struggling with depression. They were:
- Extreme feelings of sadness and a depressed mood
- Loss of interest and pleasure in spending time with family and friends
- Significant changes in appetite.
- Sleeping too much or too little.
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness.
- Inability to make decisions, focus, or remember.
- Constant fatigue and lack of energy.
- Restlessness, decreased activity.
- Thoughts of suicide or death.
I could relate to 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Especially #6 and 8. Numbers 4 and 7 seem to be plaguing me more these last couple months. I have such a hard time focusing on one thing at a time. Part of it comes with motherhood, I know, but it's really debilitating to my productivity sometimes. I am constantly thinking of all I need to do and I get so easily overwhelmed and frustrated by distractions and thinking about all that needs to be done. It gets so bad sometimes that I just give up and don't do anything, or just the bare minimum because I can't get in too deep or I get overwhelmed.
So, who can relate? Did I see a bunch of hands go up? This week, I challenge you to really evaluate yourself and see if you are experiencing depression or other emotional challenges. Really think and look into it and seek out the reality of it. Christians are just as likely to struggle with depression as anyone, but we're often the last to admit it because it makes us feel week or like we've lost our faith if prayer, fasting, and Bible study just doesn't fix us. There was a list of suggestions that were offered as ways to take care of ourselves so healing could begin. They are:
- Slow down.
- Don't take on new activities.
- Delegate some of your responsibilites.
- Be kind to yourself when you can't accomplish what you normally accomplish (I would add--what you WANT to accomplish, too)
- Plan additional time to relax during each day.
- Don't load your weekend with housework or other "catch-up" activities.
- Eat a well-balanced diet (I would add--exercise too--it's been shown to release endorphins that help with depression)
- Get enough sleep.
- Cut out some night activities.
- Refrain from making major decisions.
- Seek comfort from friends and family who love you.
- Spend quiet time with the Lord, resting in His presence, thinking about how much He loves you, being confident He will renew your strength.
Which of these could you implement now? Number 4 just SCREAMS at me and number 2 and 12 would work well for me too. We need to remember that it's possible and not uncommon for Christian people to become depressed. We need to give it to God and tell him about it and pray about what direction to take for healing. We may just need to heed the examples above or seek medical options. Whatever we do, it's worth doing for us and our loved ones so we can enjoy them like we should. Share your thoughts with me please.