National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Given the economy, loss of loved ones and everyday tragedies, depression can sneak up on even the most positive individual if one lets their guard down. Money and the lack there of, can be a major instigator for depression. Situations can get overwhelming quickly with loss of financial support for their families.
Double-Digit Economic Decline
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of 77,908,000 families surveyed in 2015 (latest published report), 80,000 of those families earned less than $15,000 annually and 96,000 earned less than $24,999 annually. A double-digit decline was recorded in some areas. Given the economy since this report, one can only imagine what the numbers will look like when the latest census taken from is published.
However, regardless of the amount of income coming in, Dave Ramsey, a financial expert who promotes hope at all income levels, states, “It is not how much you make that counts, it is what you do with it that matters.” At his website, one can find webinars, testimonials and various resources to learn how to manage even the smallest budgets and how to be successful at it.
Depression Cannot Be Ignored
Money can be a major player in the cause of stress, but it is not the only one. According to WebMD, the following can stimulate a depression state:
- Abuse: Past or present
- Certain Medications
- Death or loss of a loved one
- Conflicts within family or friend relationships
- A major event like a move, new job or diagnosis of a serious illness
- Substance abuse and trying to deny reality
- Genetics: A family history of depression
Many of us have those up and down moments where sadness reins and we would rather be alone. However, if unchecked and that “moment” of sadness turns into hours, days or even weeks, it is important to seek out a medical professional; long-term depression should not be ignored. The holidays can often bring on those moments of sadness. The remembrance of loved ones passed or moments treasured from long ago can cause even the most joyful to pause and reflect. Reflection is a good thing but keeping it all in perspective is important.
Given the household statistics on the many that live alone, the holidays can often be felt the hardest. For those in this category, the holidays can represent long days and nights. This is why it is important to say, “Yes” to at least one invitation given over the holidays for socialization or create/incorporate socialization in your daily routine. Socialization can come from many venues via movie at a theater, coffee at a coffee shop, and go to a museum etc. The important thing is not to sit home alone all day, every day when feeling sad and/or alone.
Interventions for Depression
The constant interjection of relaxation and joy is important during this time to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Not only does it help us feel good, it helps get us out of the melancholy state that much faster. In fact, exercise is probably the one aid most often forgotten when we are sad and it can be crucial to mental happiness. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can prevent and improve health problems, reduce anxiety, improve one’s mood and provide life-long benefits.
There are many support groups out there if needed. Seek out your local hospitals for a list in your area. Sometimes all we need to do is focus on someone else to realize we do not have it so bad. There are many in need in this world, in our country, right down the street…say hello to a neighbor, bring food to a shut-in, visit a nursing home. There are many in need and you are not alone.
All the research out there states that the one common thread for improvement is hope. Hope in knowing that our vision is clouded when we are sad and lonely and that we all have a purpose…and we should not give up on ourselves or those around us until we have fulfilled what we have walked on this Earth to do.
“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” ~George Iles