Are you feeling “blue”? Do you cry a lot with no apparent reason? Did your appetite change? Feeling “blue” every now and then is a normal part of life. But when ‘feeling blue” becomes feelings of emptiness and despair that does not go away, it may be depression. Depression makes it tough to enjoy life as you did in the past. It effects relationships with family and friends. Hobbies and interests are not as it used to be. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are present

Depression has many faces. . It can be from mild to severe. We all go through ups and downs in our moods. Experiencing disappointments and set backs will make people sad. This kind of depression is situational and very normal. However, depression is much more then sadness. Some people describe it like living in a black hole, feeling empty and lifeless. They don’t feel sadness. They feel apathetic and have feelings of impending doom. Whatever the symptoms are, it engulfs their day-to-day life. The ability to work, enjoy a personal life, study and have fun is gone.

If you identify with several of the following symptoms and they won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression:

• Your sleep pattern changed. You sleep too much or you can’t sleep at all.
• Tasks that you could do with ease previously are now difficult.
• You can’t concentrate.
• Your appetite changed. You eat too much or you lose your appetite.
• You have feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
• You have negative thoughts and have a hard time controlling them.
• You have thoughts of ending the pain and that life is not with it. IF YOU EXPERIENCE THIS SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY!

Risk factors of depression:
• Lack of social support
• Recent stressful life situation
• Loneliness
• Family history of depression
• Alcohol and drug abuse
• Under-employment and unemployment
• Marital or relationship problems
• Chronic pain/health problems
• Childhood abuse/trauma

The road to recovery ….
Research has shown that the most successful treatment is a combination of therapy and medication.. However, for lower grade depression, there are things you can do.

• Seek peer support, ask for help.
• Change your life style by:
-getting regular exercise
-getting regular sleep
-practicing relaxation techniques
-challenge your negative thinking
-cultivating supportive relationships
-seek professional help

Welcome to my Blog

Did you ever think that being in a relationship/marriage is going to be easy?

Did you think that the love and passion you felt when you first met would stay the same for the rest of your life?

If you thought so, you were not prepared for the relationship/marriage journey. Relationships require a lot of work. When partners take relationships for granted, this is when they start to drift apart from each other.

In healthy relationships, you need to continue and connect. You should know all about your partner to understand what makes him/her happy, sad, upset or indifferent. You need to prepare yourself that love “changes colors” as time goes by. It becomes deeper and more meaningful. If you can’t be friends, you can’t be lovers!

Here are some tools that may help you in your relationship journey:

• Edit yourself – avoid being critical. When expressing needs that are not met. Express how you feel without blaming.

• Don’t escalate an argument to a fight.

• Don’t use contempt when bringing up issues that need to be corrected.

• Don’t fight for “being right”. Fight for solutions and for happier relationships.

• Be a team on the same fence, not rivals.

• Accommodate each others needs even when you don’t agree 100%. Negotiate in what feels OK for both of you. Remember, negotiating means you give a little and you get a little.

• If an argument gets out of hand and neither can back down, agree to a “time out” period. Cool off for an hour or more and come back to revisit the problem when both of you are cool and collected.

•Concentrate on the qualities of your partner rather then the deficits. Remember, what made you fall in love and focus on the positives! This will always give you a better chance to a happier relationship.

If you know of someone who’s relationship hit “a snag”, feel free to forward this blog to them. Watch for the weekly topics I will be covering.