Manning Regional Healthcare Center

Reverse those Winter Blues

By: Amy Hull, LISW (Therapist with Senior Life Solutions)

As we continue into the long days of winter, I am reminded that so many of us face challenges: some because of the cloudy, cold, and grey days which trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); Others because they face depression year-round and find the absence of loved ones difficult while having to pillage through snow, ice and frigid cold to travel. In addition, we are also navigating the protocols and restrictions of COVID, feeling political unrest, and learning how to make socially-sensitive changes so that all members of our nation feel that they are accepted and valued. Much of this causes confusion, uncertainty, and isolation (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) for all ages, from our developing youth to the mature members of our community.    

Knowing the signs and symptoms of clinical depression is helpful so that you can seek additional help from your primary care physician or contact a therapist/psychiatrist to manage the need for psychotropic medications.

Clinical Depression includes five of the following symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, sadness or numbness
  • Irritability
  • Reoccurring thoughts of death
  • Diminished interest in pleasure
  • Significant weight loss or overeating
  • Sleeping too much or too little

It is important to catch these symptoms early, having at least two or three symptoms. Ask for help immediately rather than trying to manage it alone and waiting. Seeking assistance early can prevent depression from progressing, and it can resolve the issue much quicker than if you allow the symptoms to become entrenched and multiply.

When faced with symptoms of depression, I encourage my patients to do the opposite of what depression is telling them. Feelings of depression often suggests that you should stay isolated, avoid socializing, eat more or less, sleep more, or avoid activities you once did. However, it is important that we connect with our friends and family using any means available including phone calls, Facetiming, sending care packages, or hand-written cards. One can’t help but feel good by engaging in activities that they once enjoyed, serving others through volunteer work, or simply helping out a neighbor.

A few ways to counteract depression and sadness include helping others, exercising, interrupting or stopping negative thoughts, and getting fresh air and sunshine.  These options will help you find the joy you once had both in activities and in interacting with others. 

News Feed

Mental Health IS an Issue, Even in Rural Communities

Distinct mental health differences are evident when comparing rural and urban residents. While mental illnesses have a similar prevalence in both environments, the circumstances and access to treatment look different. According to The National Rural Health Association (NRHA), rural residents face more obstacles in obtaining behavioral health services. 

Based off these f

Blackwell Named Outstanding Employee

When Amy Blackwell envisioned her career back in college, she initially saw herself as an elementary school teacher. But after changing her major, working a full-time job, starting a family, and running an in-home daycare, she decided to go back to school for her Administrative Office professional degree and eventually found her home at The Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center.