Check On Your “Strong” Friends This Time of Year

by LaShanda Pitts
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Mental Health Moment… It’s the holidays, and while it may be a truly joyous time of the year for most; for some, it’s a time when they really may not be feeling their best – emotionally and mentally. 

For one thing, the beginning of the winter months may be a festive time, but it’s also a time when we experience a reduced amount of light – which research reveals leads to SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder (how clever is that acronym?).  The blues, lethargy, sadness, mood swings – all of these feelings are common as the lack of light throws off our internal body clock.  On top of that, dealing with the stress of the holidays, overeating, indulging in alcohol a bit more than usual, financial  and family issues and not to mention grief, can really wreak havoc on our ability to keep ourselves balanced.  It can be the best of times…but it can also be the worst of times.

Check on your people – especially if you know they may be having a difficult time, or if they are prone to depression or blue moods.  Sometimes people won’t admit they are having hopeless feelings, or wondering if they have a purpose or place in the world. They won’t admit they have suicidal thoughts, or can’t quite get past the grief they feel over a loss, etc.  The people you consider to be “strong” may be working really hard to put their best happy face forward.  You never know what emotions or thoughts people have when they’re alone and nobody’s looking.  The tears of a clown…  

If you know someone who is experiencing problems – depression, sadness, grief  – check in on them. Offer as much assistance/love/encouragement as you can. Don’t expect (and certainly don’t ask them to) “snap” out of it.  It’s just not that easy. Everybody needs somebody! Check in on your “strong” peoples!

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  Call 1-800-273-8255 (open 24/7)
National Substance Abuse & Mental Health Hotline: Call 1-800-662-4357 (open 24/7)

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Alecia Baker

WOW! Is seem like when I read your messages they always come right on time! This time of year is very hard for myself and my family. On December 5,2013 I lost my younger brother. His 25 birthday would have been December 17th. So the holidays now are always hard. Last year I decided to try to make good memories durning the month or December and January. So thank you for bring light to depression. It’s very real.

Michelle Hull

Many people experience holiday blues for various reasons. This is a great time to just check in on those that we haven’t communicated with in awhile. A simply text, email or better yet a phone call to let someone know you’re thinking of them and wish them the best is an easy way to show that you care. We all, even the strong, need encouragement and support. Happy holidays.

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