Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Post-Travel!

June 18, 2018

Happy Monday!  And, for me, Happy “First-Day-Back-To-Work-After-a-Weeklong-Absence!”  And, while I was away on business attending a conference, rather than away for pleasure, I’m experiencing what is commonly called the vacation blues (or the holiday blues in some countries), or sometimes even referred to as post-travel depression [PTD], a much less common phrase, but actually a more accurate description of my current return.

Following a quick search of the internet, I have come to find out that this is a commonly written about phenomenon.  Who knew?  Here are some recent articles to get you started (and there are many, many more).

The good news for me, there are a few of the common suggestions that I already incorporate into my routine: start planning the next vacation, return a couple of days prior to having to return to work (and continue relaxing, but in familiar surroundings), and exercising while away

Wrinkles and Aging!

January 8, 2012

I ran across a wonderful quotation on these topics and felt compelled to write a post.  And while these two concepts (wrinkles and aging) seem to go hand-in-hand with each other, one (wrinkles) is merely the physical and natural manifestation of the other (aging).  And, while I do not have very many wrinkles yet, I’m sure they will come eventually.  But this is nothing to be depressed about (my goal is to remain enthusiastic in life to keep the wrinkles of the soul at bay).  And, speaking of depression, were you aware that depression is NOT a normal part of growing old?  You may be at an increased risk of depression as you age, but it is certainly a treatable condition.  Check out this interactive map for the State of Mental Health and Aging in America.  This report provides current data on six key indicators related to the mental health of adults aged 50 years or older (courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

The key indicators are:
Social and emotional support
Life satisfaction
Frequent mental distress
Current depression
Lifetime diagnosis of depression
Lifetime diagnosis of anxiety disorder

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”  (Samuel Ullman)

Cut It Off!

December 23, 2011

Interesting factoid: did you know that 123 years ago today (December 23, 1888) Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear.  Ouch!  That had to hurt!  Here is  one of his self-portraits with the bandaged ear.  While generally considered one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time, Van Gogh was poor and virtually unknown his entire life (as short as it was).  He was plagued by depression (despair and loneliness) most of his life and died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Here is a link to the comprehensive Vincent Van Gogh Gallery.

What’s the Real Problem?

December 20, 2011

Often times, it isn’t that which is being outwardly manifested, but rather the subconscious dilemma, hidden beneath the surface of your psyche or awareness.  But as this demotivator (courtesy of www.despair.com) clearly points out, problems can certainly be worse than they originally appear . . . which brings to mind the related phrase “don’t tempt fate” (hinting that it could always be worse than expected).  If we were to carry this idea a bit further to the superstition that “bad things happen in threes,” and buy into the concept of “bad luck” (as opposed to good luck) . . . well, as you can see, we fall victim to a downward spiralling depression of .

So, when you next find yourself in the throes of depression, just follow this simple advice (from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian) . . . and . . . “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” [go ahead, whistle along].

Wow, wasn’t this an interest stream of thought?  Happy Tuesday!!

How Sad Is Your Town?

November 22, 2011

This month, Men’s Health magazine ranked America’s cities based upon how depressing a place they were to live.  They calculated suicide rates (CDC) and unemployment rates (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and then used SimplyMap to determine the percentage of households that used antidepressants as well as the number of people who reported feeling blue all or most of the time.  And the results were very interesting. Tulsa ranked #41 on the list while Oklahoma City was #27.

The Saddest Cities:
100. St. Petersburg, FL
99. Detroit, MI
98. Memphis, TN
97. Tampa, FL
96. Louisville, KY
95. St. Loius, MO
94. Birmingham, AL
93. Miami, FL
92. Reno, NV
91. Las Vegas, NV

The Happiest Cities:
10. Plano, TX
9. Burlington, VT
8. St. Paul, MN
7. Sioux Falls, SD
6. Madison, WI
5. Boston, MA
4. Omaha, NE
3. Fargo, ND
2. Manchester, NH
1. Honolulu, HI

Source: Men’s Health magazine’s metrogrades (www.MensHealth.com/metrogrades).

Recession and Priorities?

April 28, 2010

The headlines speak for themselves . . . “The Library – a Recession Sanctuary,”  “Recession: a Mixed Blessing for Libraries,” “In Recession, Libraries are Booming,” “Libraries Are Used More in Recession,” and even the American Library Association addresses the recession in its most recent State of American Libraries Report.   Even though library use is booming, they are still feeling the pinch and many are closing or having to cut back on their services.

Unfortunately, it is not just libraries that are feeling the pinch.  Layoffs and downsizings are occurring in every industry/occupation across the country which raises a couple of really good questions: how much longer is this recession going to last?  And, at what point does a recession become a depression?  Aren’t these the million dollar questions? 

Before we can even attempt to answer these questions, we may have to define our terms: a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters in which real GDP falls; whereas a depression is more vaguely defined as a “severe” and “prolonged” recession. 

Hmm, our current recession seems “prolonged” to me, so hang on, it could be a long ride.

The Cure for the Lack of Creativity?

April 18, 2010

The short answer: risk taking!  We become so paralyzed by our fear of failure that we fail to take significant (or any) risk which is the incubator of creative and innovative ideas.  Another possible answer: depression?

“Have you ever wondered why depression is commonly associated with creative genius? According to Paul Wolf, a clinical pathologist at the University of California. Einstein, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Ravel, Goya, Michelangelo and Warhol all suffered from diseases that are now thought to have contributed to their greatness. Melancholy, in particular, seems to be common amongst great sculptors, painters, writers and composers and Asperger’s syndrome has been linked with extreme perseverance, perfectionism and a disregard for the opinions of one’s peers – exactly the behaviour one needs to create masterpieces that defy prevailing logic or make no immediate or logical sense to the outside world.”

But all is not lost . . . there are numerous simple ways in which you can exercise your creativity.  Here’s a list of one hundred  (from “The Heart of Innovation” blog). . . how many do you already use?

These are a few of my favorites:

  • present your challenge to a child
  • play music in your office
  • get out of the office more regularly
  • take more naps
  • take regular daydreaming breaks
  • incubate (sleep on it)
  • have more fun, be sillier than usual
  • laugh more, worry less
  • go for a walk whenever you’re stuck
  • have shorter meetings 

So, let’s all go forth and be more creative!

This Makes a Lot of Sense!

December 29, 2009

Have we become slaves to our technology?  (I sure feel that way from time to time, but I also know others who are enslaved to a much greater extent than I.)  I resisted getting a cell phone for the longest time (and I still do not have text messaging capabilities), but I’m now fully engaged in numerous other social media outlets and find that despite what I consider to be good time management skills,  keeping up is becoming increasingly more difficult.  And despite this technology and “social connectedness,” did you know that we experience more depression today than in past generations?  This is being called the “Age of Melancholy.”  Technology is affecting our well-being.  Perhaps my New Year’s resolution toward technology should be to increase my autonomy, my competence, my relatedness, and my critical thinking skills (the four vital elements for healthy personal development and functioning) to help me “establish a [more] balanced approach to technology” and hopefully “enhance my well-being” to boot.    Wishful thinking?  I hope not . . .

But definitely an interesting concept.  To read more about this, here’s the full article.

Not So Happy Holidays?

December 8, 2009

Some people just “hate the holidays.”  Hmm, could it be that they suffer from SAD (cute, and accurate, acronym)?  Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.  Here’s an interesting story  (from New Scientist Magazine) about how differently you view the world when you are depressed.

Symptoms of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping (feeling like you want to hibernate)
  • Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates such as pastas, rice, bread and cereal
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating and processing information

On a related note, did you know that “loneliness” is contagious?  Check out this article as well.

Emotions Rule!

November 15, 2009

Emotions rule our lives . . . and it never hurts to know more about them.   Of course, perceptions and opinions are as varied as the persons offering them and are constantly changing, so believe what you will.  Interesting concepts nonetheless.

Curiosity can kill more than just the cat . . . it ay actually work to cure (kill?) anxiety as well.  Todd Kashdan (a George Mason University Psychologist), “who has conducted research on this topic for a decade, argues that curiosity and anxiety work together — one propelling us to explore, the other putting on the brakes so that we don’t take unwise risks. The problem, in his view, is that we have devalued curiosity, putting the bulk of our energy — as individuals, communities, nations — into anxiety avoidance.”  Read more here.

Depression versus despair (despite current belief/understanding, these two concepts are not the same) . . . “If Kierkegaard were on Facebook or could post a You Tube video, he would certainly complain that we, who have listened to Prozac, have become deaf to the ancient distinction between psychological and spiritual disorders, between depression and despair.”  Read more here.

I sure you’ve all heard about the “seven stages of grief.”   Hmm, what if this is wrong?   “The idea that grief is work that we must do began with Freud. … [But grief] is not work, and it doesn’t occur in stages. It can be short-lived for some people and never-ending for others. Like breathing and consciousness and almost everything else about us, grief fluctuates.”  Read more here.