Sunday, October 23, 2011

Depression Awareness Manicure

While October is drawing to a close, I still want to mention that it is Depression Awareness Month. Scrangie did a post to spread the word and featured green nail polish, since green is the awareness color for depression (among other things).

I have been dealing with depression on and off since I was a teenager. I feel it's important to talk about depression to help remove the stigma associated with it. Depression can be very isolating for many reasons, which only increases misunderstanding about what it is and how it impacts people. I hope this blog post will help increase my (few) readers' knowledge and understanding.

So, I'd like to follow Scrangie's example by providing some fact about depression from the National Institute for Mental Health:

What is depression?
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.

Signs and Symptoms Include:
Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Irritability, restlessness
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
Fatigue and decreased energy
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
Overeating, or appetite loss
Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

For my Depression Awareness Month manicure, I decided to do a green water marble.

Right hand

I started with a single coat of OPI Mermaid's Tears, and I did the marbling in OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow, Wild and Crazy Colors Erie, and Mermaid's Tears. Obviously, I'm still working on this technique. It's oddly appropriate to me that this has some flaws, since one thing I have to deal with when coping with depression is not demanding perfection of myself. This is the best I could do at that moment, and that's enough.

Right hand


In closing, here are some things that the NIMH recommends if you want to help someone with depression:
Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
Talk to him or her, and listen carefully.
Never dismiss feelings, but point out realities and offer hope.
Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one's therapist or doctor.
Invite your loved one out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don't push him or her to take on too much too soon.
Provide assistance in getting to the doctor's appointments.
Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

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