“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus
It’s no wonder that winter gets pegged as the most depressing time of the year. Chilly, often dreary weather and shorter days can combine to occasionally dampen even the most cheerful spirits. Yet, when we hear the words, “I’m so depressed,” either from our own mouths or from someone else, what can that really mean?
“I’m So Sad.”
Sometimes when those words are said, what is really meant is that the person is sad. There is a distinct difference between being sad and being depressed. If something sad has happened, acknowledging that sadness could, in fact, be grief. Unresolved grief issues are often mistaken for depression. The only way to get through that grief is to simply allow yourself to grieve.
However, some people never learned to grieve properly―to grieve in a healthy way. They may have been told, “You’re being silly; don’t feel that way” or “Get over it.” You see, for each loss that we have, we store information. Sometimes, we store misinformation. For example, if you were told that being sad was silly, you may have thought, “Is it not okay to be sad? Is there something wrong with being sad?” As a result, you may have stopped trusting your own feelings. With the help of a counselor, you have to go back and basically, “uninstall” that feeling.
It’s okay to be sad. God gave us that emotion because a lot of life’s circumstances are sad!
“I’m So Depressed.”
You really feel like you are depressed. How do you know the difference between that and sadness? Some of the common signs of depression are feelings of exhaustion or a lack of motivation to finish certain projects, sleeping too little or too much, and changes in appetite. Also, there may be a sense of dissatisfaction in different areas of your life such as your relationships, work, or socially.
The Beck Depression Inventory (http://www.hr.ucdavis.edu/asap/pdf_files/Beck_Depression_Inventory.pdf), is a simple questionnaire that can be self-scored and can give you an idea of whether or not you might be clinically depressed. Of course, only a professional can accurately diagnose medical conditions.
It’s also important to also remember that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Sometimes, a person may not be organically depressed or have a chemical imbalance; however, they might need some medication to help get through a period of time and to do the things they need to do to get better.
“I Don’t Like the Way I’m Feeling.”
Sometimes, we simply get stuck. We find ourselves falling into what is commonly called, “analysis paralysis.” We’re in a pattern of circular thinking that goes nowhere. That means it is time to talk to someone in order to move forward. You’re not where you want to be in life, for whatever reason, and you’re finding it difficult (or impossible) to change things. Often, it’s as simple as, “Something doesn’t feel good and I don’t know what it is.” You want your life to look and feel a certain way and it just doesn’t.
The important thing is this: If you’re not feeling the way you want to feel, look for a solution-focused therapist who can help you make changes. You can make the necessary changes in order to attract the life you want to attract. You can find the healing that you’re looking for. You can find your summer in the midst of winter.
You might also be interested in:
The Grief Recovery Method
*Lisa is certified in the Grief Recovery Method.