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If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!

Tres Reyes Island view of the Marinduque Mainland

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guest Article from Michelle Dragoo-Five Tips in Battling Depression


Today's guest article is from Michelle Dragoo. She is one of my favorite authors in the ViwesHound community. Michelle Dragoo is a retired Air Force Master Sgt, who currently resides in St. Charles Illinois. Wife, Mother, and graduate student at Florida Tech University. She currently works at Edward Hospital in Naperville, IL as the Supervisor of Anatomic Pathology. Writing has always been her passion.

Finding peace, after years of depression.

Since I can remember, I have suffered from some sort of depression. Be it severe, or just the blues, I often battled with simple things like getting out of bed, playing with my kids, paying attention to my husband, or just enjoying day to day life. I wish I could pinpoint the start of the symptoms, if nothing more than to better understand the disease of depression. As quoted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, depression is defined as:

“Feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.”

Many things can lead to depression, such as major life changes, divorce, certain medical conditions as well as chemical changes in the brain. I lost my uncle to suicide when I was just 15, and remember trying to understand what it was he felt during his last days. Now, as an adult I understand completely, but have battled with trying to find my peace in life so I can battle this disease.

I have been on various medications, therapy, you name it. I’ve tried it all. But until last year I never could truly find my “place” in life. Often times, it takes hitting rock bottom to be able to pull yourself out of that never ending spiral of sadness. I hit my rock bottom when my career in the Air Force was nearing its end. I thought I had no meaning in life, and separated myself from my family, friends, and even my children. Most days would be spent going to work completely exhausted after a night of fighting insomnia, only to end the day laying on the couch with my eyes closed. Eyes closed to the world, my children, more so my life. I suffered weekly migraines, had various other health issues, and felt like I was on a one way road downhill.

I realized one day, when I was at my lowest that I could lose my family. They didn’t want to be near me, and admittedly I didn’t want to even be around myself. I just wanted to close my eyes, and feel sorry for myself. It was then, I KNEW I needed to find peace, and let go of the past. What was it in life I enjoyed? Sadly I forgot, but was determined to find IT again. So for me, personally, I re-evaluated my life, and what it was I needed to pull myself out of that deep dark hole.

1. Work is work

Not everyone can do what they love, but you can put your passion, heart, and soul into what you do to make it the very best product you can be proud of. After the eight hour day, walk away and open the front door of your house and find JOY.

2. Recall your passions in life

Mine are writing, reading, music, cooking, my kids, and being outdoors. I had forgotten these things for so many years. So I picked up my pen, dusted off my whisk, and began dancing in the kitchen with my kids while we all laughed until tears filled our eyes.

3. Don’t regret the past—learn from it and move forward

Move forward always. Learn from the past, but don’t hang on to past hurts, mistakes, or even failures. We are all human and are entitled to hurt every now and then. If you need to, cry, let it out, and move FORWARD.

4. Remove the negative aspects from your life

Be it negative people, situations, or things that simply bring you down-avoid them! Often times we get in the mode of wallowing in self misery. This does nothing good for our health, or for our family and friends. If someone constantly brings you down, simply step away. If you have a job you hate, look for another one! If you feel down on yourself, go back to school, start working out, or find an outlet to build yourself back UP.

5. Don’t forget you!

We all get caught up in daily life, and forget to take time for ourselves. Even if it means going for a 30 min run a couple of times a week, or playing your music a tad louder than you should so you can sing along and not feel embarrassed. DO IT. Find your peace, be it in nature, exercise, or hobbies. Never forget to take care of you!

Since doing these things, and committing myself to ultimate peace no matter how hard the journey, I can honestly say I have never been happier. Is my life perfect? Of course not. But I take each life situation, and do my best to digest it in a healthy manner vs. feeling sorry for myself.

And ultimately, when I am feeling stressed, a bit low, or just not myself, I grab one of my kids, and we dance like rock stars in the kitchen. Or I’ll send my husband a text just to remind him I love him…there are so many things we can do to bring ourselves out of depression, but it’s our choice.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001941/

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