We have had a couple of very grey days (or maybe more than a couple) recently! Amongst our community too there have been injuries, news of bereavement and memories of past hurts welling up as well as probably a bit of SAD around.
No, SAD in capitals is not a typing mistake. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can lead to full blown depression or simply mean that on grey and dark days we do not feel as chirpy as usual. SAD would be an example of reactive depression – where the depressed feeling is in reaction to some event or situation. Not surprisingly, SAD is most common in Scandanavian countries.
Clinical depression, on the other hand, sets in, and, like Winston Churchills’ Black Dog can follow us around for a long time even when we get help. How that man led a country during wartime while severely depressed is an amazing tale.
It’s important to distinguish whether we’re temporarily depressed because of wintry weather, whether the depressed feeling is more permanent and we need talk therapy and medical help, or whether it’s a reaction to a situation which will disappear soon.
Sometimes there is a slight lift in the depression just because we become aware of what is dragging us down and that’s there’s a reason why we are feeling bad. Other times naming it makes it worse!
New Zealand has increased funding for mental health and last year made Mike King New Zealander of the Year for his work on mental health. That tells us NZ knows depression is something we need to work with – provide help, ask for help, seek our own solutions or find solutions others offer. For some it will be medication, for others, a change in circumstances, or a brisk walk every day or just beginning the long haul back to the light by getting out of bed, even if that is all we do that day.
Do not be afraid to say you are depressed and do not be afraid to seek a remedy, maybe by talking with your doctor. More than one person in our community here at St Andrew’s has had depression. They may have helpful suggestions, but most of all, they understand.
Reactive depression can be helped by having a list of things to do when it hits, (things which you know from experience will help it move faster). Sometimes a temporary depression is a signal to stop and think or cry or rage, so that our negative feelings don’t get pushed down anymore. That can relieve the gloom. Comedy programmes sometimes help. Breathing deeply. Everyone is different, and their depression is different, but don’t let that hold you back from finding your unique answers.
The sun is still there when it is obscured by clouds. We can feel unloved when the dark clouds of depression move in. But, remember however dark the situation, Love surrounds you every moment of every day. The sun is still there behind the blackness, maybe even within the blackness.
Tonight is the second of the Martin Risdeley concerts. The first was a treat – don’t miss this one. 6.30pm $25/$20 admission. Bring a friend.
This Sunday we welcome 200 extras to our Gathering. Able bodied people with no roster duties should head straight for the gallery. Also, please bring a generous plate for the community brunch. (It would help if verbal notices were kept to a minimum too.) it will be an interesting morning, hope to see you there! It is also the last Sunday for you to RSVP for Spirited Conversations at which the speaker is Antonio Lima on his personal experiences with liberation theology in South America.
To view the full e-news click on this link: https://mailchi.mp/ba7f4d1e7122/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1484525