|Posted by 2bstressfree on December 18, 2009 at 5:19 AM|
If you are dealing with an acoustic neuroma diagnosis, or recovering from treatment, you may find the holidays to be more depressing than uplifting. You may be dealing with the shock of your diagnosis, or trying to figure out the best treatment, or figuring out how to live with the "new normal." You just may not be in the mood to be happy and celebrating.
You are not alone. Many people who are well and generally happy, still find this time to be depressing. There are a few reasons for this. Advertisers constantly paint it as a time full of gaeity and delightful nostalgia. We see pictures of happy families, or ecstatic looking couples. Most of us don't fit the mold, and may wonder what the heck is wrong with us.
Many people run themselves ragged, trying to shop for just the right presents, going to more social events than they have time for, and overdoing the non nutritious foods. All this added stress, and lack of taking care of ourselves, is a recipe for depression. If you are already depressed, this can certainly add to it.
One way to help with depression is to "reframe" how you interpret things. Instead of feeling disappointed that your holiday or vacation isn't measuring up, try to see it in more realistic terms. It is what it is. It doesn't have to look like a picture postcard version.
If there is a get together you really want to go to, but dread it because you know you will have trouble hearing, try to "reframe" it as an opportunity to just meet and greet old friends, saving the more in depth conversations for other times. Or maybe suggest a sing a long or game that everyone, including you, can noisily participate in.
"Reframing" is just one part of helping with depression. You can learn more about it in the book "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns, M.D. You can also find more examples on my website www.2bstressfree.com.
If you are severely depressed, and self help tools aren't helping, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can read my pages on Why Counseling? and How to Choose a Counselor on my acoustic neuroma website, www.ANeuromacope.com
I hope these thoughts have been helpful to you and wish you a peaceful holiday season.
Kate Boswell MFT is a Los Angeles based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lic. No. MFC20851. She helps people with depression, anxiety, and relationship issues, related to their health concerns. Her Marina del Rey location is easily accessed from Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica, Westchester, Culver City, Inglewood, West Los Angeles, and the South Bay Cities. Kate can be reached at (310) 658-3158 and [email protected] .