DITD – AKA Down In The Dumps

And yes, it requires all those words to be one emotion. I’m fairly certain all of us have been DITD at one time or another. Many of these DITD episodes happen this time of year. I suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which is classified as mild because I live in the South. Heaven forbid I should live in Alaska. I’m not sure their measurement scale would go high enough to register the opposite end of mild, at least where I’m concerned. There are many reasons a person may feel down in the dumps. Loneliness. Additional medical issues. Being a recluse. Not feeling worthy. Generally feeling ‘not quite right’. The list could go on and on. I don’t want to focus on the reasons for feeling DITD, but rather on the why’s and the how to feel better. Did you know that the way you think and view things in general can contribute to DITD? If you are a person prone to negative thinking you are more prone to DITD and depression. Negative thinking leads a person to believe that the world is not a happy place and they are rarely happy or find anything to be happy about. Stress is another factor in DITD. Some people thrive on stress, and yes, stress can be a good thing. Whether it’s good or bad for you is determine on how you view it and how you deal with it. I know that I accomplish more when I have an overflowing To Do List, but at the same time, let something be wrong with a member of my family or someone I care deeply about, and that stress makes me almost non-functional. Brain chemistry can lead a person to feeling DITD, but most often if brain chemistry is involved it is most often classified as depression and needs to be medically treated. DITD does not require medical treatment unless it is prolonged. If you are feeling DITD, how do you move past it? That depends on who you are. One sure fire way, if you can manage it, is to get out and exercise. It has proven time and time again that exercise helps increase the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. The more serotonin that is released the better you are going to feel. The hard part is taking the first step in exercising. Most people can walk, but if you can’t do that there are tons of chair exercises that you can do. The key is to just exercise in whatever way you can. Other things that can help are reading. If you are a person who enjoys books, reading can help you escape your problems and get away in to another world. Help someone else. One of the easiest ways for me to feel happy is by helping someone less fortunate than me. Help a lupus patient. Sometimes all it takes is listening. How many times have you, as a lupus patient, just needed someone to listen? Whether you validate what they are saying, or offer advice, or tell them you have been there, giving help to another does something for your heart, makes you feel that you have a purpose, and validates who you are and what you have been through. Move. That means, get off the couch, out of the bed, and do something. Do anything. Wash the dishes. Call a friend. Write an e-mail. Do anything that keeps you off the couch, out of the bed, or wherever you seem to land when you are DITD. If I am DITD for too long, dishes and laundry tend to pile up. If I can get the dishes washed, or a load of laundry done, for some reason I begin to feel better. The BIGGEST thing of all if you are DITD, avoid negativity and negative people. This may mean turning off the news, avoiding people who bring you down, stay away from Cousin Mae who is always right and lets you know that fact. Other’s negativity is probably one of the worst influences on a person DITD, and if you are DITD you don’t have your best ‘dealing with’ skills readily at hand. Where normally you might call a person on their negative statements, when we are DITD, we are more likely to take their words as the truth. What has changed in the picture is how we are feeling at the time. If you think you may forget all of this, make notes on what triggers you being DITD. Make coping notes. Be prepared. Most of all, realize that everyone is DITD at some time in their life, and that this too shall pass. If it doesn’t, you are probably suffering from depression and need medical help. © 2014 – Wanda M. Argersinger and The Lupus Support Network As always, we love feedback on the blogs. Are they beneficial? Do you enjoy this series? Let us know.

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