I suppose in a way I am telling on myself. I have bipolar disorder; so did my father and he committed suicide (today is his birthday).This is something I have eluded to, but not openly discussed. I feel it is pertinent to do so, however, as the season for SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is upon us (in the US). I know my disorder (especially the depression) gets worse in the fall and winter months due to many factors. It is important to look at your history and be honest with yourself; is this something that effects me and I need to be concerned about. In the past my past eating disorders, addictions, and depression and depression have run rampant this time of year; I am now proactive. I will give you some practical everyday tips that I have found helpful. This is NOT medical advice! And, FYI nothing is an instant fix;give things time to work. Also I have found that your mindset helps; rather than be pessimistic and constantly telling yourself “This is pointless it will never help”, try telling yourself “This might work for me!”.
Mental: Even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is always darkest before the dawn they say. Unfortunately sometimes you cannot see the light of dawn. It is important for me to tell people I care about to keep an eye on me (especially this time of year); not overprotective, but just to notice if I start to act strange or isolate. This is a good resource for mental illness; it has alot of areas to explore :National Alliance on Mental Illness
Physical: There are many things you can do to help depression; namely do not isolate and force yourself to do things; do not let yourself slack; little by little, things will add up and you’ll find yourself in a hole. This is not only true of actions around depression, but life in general. Because I am frugal,and am also aware everyone does not have unlimited funds at their disposal, here are some free (but useful) tips. Get an adequate amount of sunlight; a lack of vitamin D (found in sunlight) can lead to an increase in myriad of physical symptoms ( obesity, mineral loss,etc.) but also causes a great increase in depression; this primarily why we get SAD. As the sunlight gets low, as we are outside less, we receive less vitamin D, which makes us more physically vulnerable:Information on vitamin D deficiency and depression. If you are concerned about skin cancer, wear sunscreen to block harmful UV rays. Another area I’ve found helpful is staying physically active, namely exercise; this will increase the serotonin in your brain (the chemical that keeps you “happy”) and increase endorphins which will give you more energy. This is particularly helpful if your depression includes anxietyInformation on mood-exercise relationship. If you have trouble with the cold weather, research an exercise program that can be performed indoors. If you are older and/or have muscle, joint,or other health problems; talk to your doctor. Ask for their input on a safe but effective program suitable for you to perform.
Social: Like I said, it helps me to let others in my social circles to keep an eye on me. This way, I am proactive about my mental state.
Trust me, there is a large portion of my past when,as positive as I am now, I was that much negative. We are where we are in life. There is no correct path for EVERYONE. I just know what works for me!