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My husband and I had a conversation last night about what I wrote for my 100 Naked Words post on Medium yesterday. The post was about whether I was sad or actually had S.A.D.- seasonal affective disorder, and went on to explain what that was.
He said, “Why does everything these days have to come with a label? Can’t we just be sad?” He said the same thing about our son, when he was being diagnosed with ADD- Attention deficit disorder. “He’s just lacking discipline, being a boy, why do they have to label him?”
Well, he’s right in a way, it seems these days we can’t just be permitted to have feelings or some kind of behavior that people have dealt with for hundreds of years without a doctor wanting to stick a label on us. However, because of school officials, lawyers and other professionals not wanting to DEAL with any of this- we have become a labeled society. How else can we get the medicine we need to cure such ailments? What about the legal ramifications?
In my son’s case, the teachers at school didn’t have the time, patience or resources to deal with him, I’ll admit he was a handful. Never sat still, wanted to talk to his neighbor constantly, did not respect authority, etc. They had too many kids to a class, had to follow a certain curriculum and did not have the patience teachers did in the past or permission to discipline them. ( even though we gave them permission) So…he got tested. They insisted. That way, he could get the proper treatment, medication and attention he needed-right?
No. Not really. He fell through the cracks. It’s a long story and what happened was we followed the rules. Initially, we fought against the idea. My husband did not want him tested or medicated. I insisted, thinking they were right and maybe the medication would fix him. He got tested, labeled, medicated and still fought the system tooth and nail. My husband knew every official at the school, he had to go down there so often. Truth is, if we and the school had been more patient, had taken the time to properly deal with him; i.e. give him the attention he needed, maybe none of what happened to him would have, we will never know. As it is, he rebelled against taking the medicine, self medicates with pot and alcohol, does not know how to deal with life like other people, struggles to maintain relationships or keep a job, but manages to get through life with his personality and street smarts. He is so likable, he has friends everywhere that take care of him. We and they, enable him because we don’t want to hurt his feelings, we feel like it isn’t his fault, life dealt him a shitty hand, whatever.
As far as me and this label S.A.D., I feel like maybe it’s a little of the same thing. Yes, I feel depressed at this time of year, I miss my mom, and other family members we’ve lost. That is regular sadness. S.A.D. has to do with feeling a certain way during a particular season, namely, winter. There are so many ways to cope with this other than medication. Is it hard, yes, but you have to try. Otherwise, we become a nation of doped up individuals who don’t have the tools to deal with what life throws at you. I have been on medication for depression in the past. I didn’t like it, and took the steps needed to get off of it. It had nothing to do with S.A.D. and I have never been actually diagnosed with it.
WebMD defines it as a disorder that may be related to hormonal changes deep in the brain that trigger attitude-related changes at certain times of the year. Duh, I hate cold, therefore, I have a crappy attitude about it because I know it’s coming and I hate it.
It also says the chemical reason for the moodiness and depression may be caused by the fact that less sunlight causes our brains to produce less serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood. This can lead to depression and weight gain. The solution for that is to exercise willpower and put the pie down, not take a pill. Get outside a few minutes a day, even when it’s cloudy. Not necessarily pop another pill, shot or spray. We have become lazy as a nation. We want the quick fix, the easy way out. I’m guilty and so are many other people I know.
Can’t we just deal with our sadness and the root causes of it some other way? Why do we feel guilty because we feel sad? It’s a natural, normal emotion. Cry, get it out, talk about it, whatever you need to do-play some feel good music. Dance! Get with some friends and go window shopping, or to the park for some fresh air. Take a walk and clear your mind. Let’s try to get past the notion that we have to label every little thing.
There are so many folks who have diseases, conditions and terrible illnesses that really need medication. We better start trying to deal with life in some other organic way because, let’s face it folks, the healthcare system is broken. We need to get back to nature and the things God gave us to live a normal life on this planet. Real food, not processed. Essential oils like frankincense, bergamot and lemongrass-pick you up, soothe your soul and create feelings of well being. They have been used for centuries, even before Jesus was born! The wise men brought them to Jesus!
There is also great power in prayer. Let’s pray that we can overcome the need to label and medicate ourselves and use the tools we have in our arsenals to deal with the everyday issues and problems we face. I’m not saying there aren’t conditions that really need medication. I still take plenty of it. If I could, I would get off of all of it, and some day, maybe I will be able to. But I did get off the antidepressants. By myself. My doctor said I was doing it right and good job for weaning myself off slowly and using my essential oils the right way. Maybe, in time, my health will improve to the point that I can do without a few more of the ones I take on a daily basis.
Ok, my rant is over, however, I do hope you see my point and try to take my advice.
I hope everyone has a good time tomorrow, being with the family you love and seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while. Eat some good food and share some funny stories. Get out in the yard and toss a ball. Whatever makes you feel good and gets you through the day. Because being with family and making new memories is what it’s all about. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!