Monday, September 19, 2011

A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like a Medicine

Proverbs 17:22 tells us " A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." I firmly believe that laughter does us good, in more ways than one. Whenever I am sick or a friend gets sick, I always recommend a good dose of the giggles. I know it makes me feel better. 
 I suffer from depression now and then, and as it continues to get darker sooner, I battle it more and more. It's not something I like to admit even to myself. It isn't something someone should be afraid of, or ashamed of, yet we tend to think of those who suffer from depression as weak. We aren't weak. Some of us have a chemical imbalance, others of us have situational depression, where the death of a loved one, or the constant care of a loved one, added to the day to day stresses of life just end up being too much. 
  I'm not on medication right now to control mine. I can't afford it quite simply, and I tend to take myself off when I feel I don't need it. I'm not the best example of someone who should say take the medicine, it helps. I depend on myself and my husband to let me know if I do need medication. If and when that time comes, I'll go see a doctor and figure out a way to afford the prescription the doctor says I need.  But my depression is not severe. It's bad enough to make me not want to do much, but it doesn't last long enough to warrant a long term solution.
 What I need is fairly simple: I need prayer time with God. I need sunshine; being stuck in a house all day every day is not good for anyone's well being. Fresh air and sunshine does a tremendous amount of good. Exercise doesn't hurt either.  I need other people. Interacting with others from time to time helps keep us healthy and happy. And sometimes I just need a hug, or someone to say, Hey, let me take J for an hour or two while you go take a nap, or catch a movie or catch up on some housework. An offer to help with the housework would be nice now and then too, but hey, I'll not push it. :)  And I need laughter. Being able to laugh from the belly makes us feel good. The body starts pumping out those feel good chemicals, and suddenly the sky is a little bluer, the flu doesn't feel so bad, I can get the kitchen cleaned up.
  Next time you're feeling a little blue, or sick, try my remedy. Prayer, a little sunshine even if its opening the curtains, chicken soup preferably homemade, and the funniest shows or books you can think of. I'm old school so while I like some of the newer comics, they tend to have more language than I like so I prefer the greats: Red Skelton; Jack Benny; Burns and Allen; Tim Conway and Harvey Corman. You know its funny stuff when the straight man can't even keep a straight face during the skit.
 This is one of my all time favorite sketches that Tim Conway and Harvey Korman have ever done. They rarely fail to make me laugh. 

**Disclaimer** I am not a doctor nor do I play one on television. I cannot diagnose anyone with depression or tell someone it's just " a case of the blues". I only know myself. I do not make light of true depression, nor do I think it will go away on its own.  There are good medicines out there, and there are also some good therapies that may help. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, please do not hesitate to seek help. Discuss the situation with your doctor and tell him or her everything. If he isn't willing to listen and work with you, find one who will. Don't just pay attention to the drug du jour ads on tv , do some research and (I cannot stress this enough) communicate with your doctor about how you feel. If medication is right for you, take your doctor's advice. 

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