Of unhappiness and uncertainty: how sandcastles can help find the way to happiness

the beach has a special way of smoothing even the most ragged edges of the soul Depression creeps in like a thief in the night. You would not know when it will hit you. You just became sad for no specific reason as if something inside you is dying. Mental health is something im quite […]

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the beach has a special way of smoothing even the most ragged edges of the soul

Depression creeps in like a thief in the night. You would not know when it will hit you. You just became sad for no specific reason as if something inside you is dying.

Mental health is something im quite knowledgable of. I mean, being able to graduate from the toughest nursing school in the Visayas, would eventually teach you a thing or two about it, right?

Wrong. Sure, knowing the distinctive signs (like Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, Loss of interest in daily activities, Appetite or weight changes, Sleep changes, Anger or irritability, Loss of energy, Self-loathing, Reckless Behavior, Concentration Problems, Unexplained aches and pains) would give you an edge but, It, as you can see, has a chameleon-like ability to mask itself as a common symptom of stress (overeating or lack of appetite, ring a bell?) or common colds or even pms and increase in estrogen level in the body.

My nursing background targets the neurotransmitters in the brain – the dopamine and the serotonin, and the norepinephrine as culprits. Depression occurs when there is a chemical imbalance with the aforecited neurotransmitters.

Or it could be like what everyone says triggered by an event so big (in that person’s perspective, of course) that a person could not handle it. 

Either way, There are lots of types of depression ranging from the very mild ones to the very severe. 

The most common one, often neglected, is the very mild depression. It varies from people to people experiencing it. It could be weight loss or insomnia or feeling of hopelessness. Yet, it is quite certain that feeling of unhappiness is there. You don’t know why it is just there. 

But you know why it is the most neglected one? It is because people who are experiencing it are in denial that they have it. They will have lots of reasons why its not depression rather than facing the fact that it is. 

Im pretty sure by now, you are imagining of that picture in your head about a single, unemployed, staying in bed with thoughts of wanting to kill herself when she will have the energy to do it woman. 

Wrong, again. Quite honestly, 80% of people with very mild depression are those with high powered jobs, those extremely busy ones, those whom everyone thinks are the pillars of society, and more importantly those who have happy lives.

In short, everyone or anyone can get depression.

It is not easy to accept that you are experiencing something that makes you feel unhappy for no reason when you are a successful  person or if you have a support system who loves you rather than when you have the opposite.

People refuse to believe that it is okay to feel sad even if they think they have no right to do so because they are blessed with much or this is not what society dictates with people like them. 

It maybe be easier said than done. But there are some things- small things, one can do when she is experiencing that feeling of unexplained unhappiness or that overwhelming feeling that everything is too much:

  1. Take a walk.
  2. Stay under the sun. Vitamin D does wonders.
  3. Eat homecooked meal.
  4. Wear your favorite old pajamas.
  5. Go to the spa.
  6. Build sandcastles.
  7. Feed schools of fish.
  8. Go fishing.
  9. Travel (observe quarantine protocols, please, and go local)
  10. Have a good massage.
  11. Have a long talk with someone you can trust.
  12. Write in your diary.
  13. Shout your feelings away.
  14. Go to the beach (it has a way of healing your soul.
  15. Eat chocolates – only a bit.
  16. Watch those dramedies to make you cry (Our Times – ending is a stealer.
  17. Pray.

Mental health is not a joke. We should see the signs and take action before it is too late.

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