Remember the words to that old Elvis song, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you”? Did you feel like that this year? Maybe you lost a loved one, got divorced, or moved away from your friends and family; the thought of a jolly holiday and bright new year seems like a distant memory.
“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” ― Andy Rooney
Yesterday was Christmas Day or at least that’s what the calendar showed. Before 1991, Miss Lib has celebrated Christmas and all the other holidays with her husband and family members. After her husband’s death in 1992, her children left the house. 25 years later, Miss Lib, now 83 yrs old rarely leaves her own home. Coming of age in the Great Depression and WWII, Lib learned self-reliance and fortitude. Lib’s husband of many years died over two decades ago and her three adult children live over an hour’s drive away and seldom visit.
It’s that time of year again. That time of year filled with many holiday gatherings, things to do, places to go, and people to see. But now we are here and it’s the holiday season and everyone everywhere is wanting, wishing and hoping for a good time. We often have higher expectations for this season than for any other time of the year. The holiday season of “Great Expectations” can leave us feeling impatient, cranky, and — in some cases — depressed.
Thanksgiving beckons family dinners, football, falling leaves, and Thanksgiving parades. Many watch TV to see the U.S. President “pardon” a turkey, later sent to a zoo, for the National Turkey Federation. Thanksgiving became a holiday in 1863, proclaimed a national holiday on November 26, 1789, and legislatively enacted fourth Thursday of November in 1941. This year the date is November 24th. The idea is to be thankful and appreciate who and what you have in your life.
In previous blog posts this month, we have discussed depression and anxiety separately since they can be experienced independently and have their own distinct definitions and even diagnostic criteria when one’s functioning is impacted or impaired. However, there is some overlap between anxiety and depression and the two states have a sometimes-complicated relationship. For example, one of the major characteristics of depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or anxiety, which is shared in the list of depression. Also, the physical, somatic symptoms can often overlap.