Does your mood just seem to tumble sometimes? For no reason? With bi-polar depression this is common but it also happens in a lesser degree to those suffering from depression not diagnosed as bi-polar.
When our moods do tumble and while it seems there is no reason, that’s not true. There is always a reason. We just aren’t always aware of it.
For example, a friend shares with you they are lonely. They are worried they are headed for another episode of depression. This coming from someone who is immensely talented, attractive, and has a great personality.
When your time together is over, you notice your mood has dropped. There are probably two reasons:
- You feel guilty because you wonder if you’ve played a part in her depression. Have you ignored her? Have you been there for her?
- You worry that if that can happen to her with all she has going for her, it can happen to you, too, and you are scared.
If you are a sensitive person, which many depressed people are, you are greatly affected by other people’s’ moods.
You call a close friend and they seem “remote”, “distant”. You probably start to wonder if there is something wrong between the two of you. It never occurs to you it could be them and not you, that they’re the one having a bad day. Again, your sensitivity can bring you down suddenly.
But do you see how a chain of events like this can cause a sensitive person to have their mood plummet?
When that happens, the very best thing to do is immediately recall the events of the day because there is always a reason our mood plummets. Once we examine the reason, we usually start to feel better.
Talk to yourself and objectively evaluate your day, the conversations you’ve had, your self-talk, how you’ve let someone else talk to you, what you’ve eaten, and what you’ve eaten.
Have you been very busy and then all of a sudden you feel “down”? (A common reason for a mood plummet.) Unexepected and unstructured free time can be a mood dropper.
How about the sun has been shining and then the weather turns dreary for a few days? Weather can be a huge downer for people susceptible to depression.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Jesus hosts the Last Supper, cries out in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, is arrested, illegally tried, and crucified all in under twenty-four hours.
Jesus did that so we could be freed from the shackles of all that imprisons us, depression being one of the worst.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a part to play.
Because we do.
It’s up to us to pay attention to our mood drops, to what gets us upset, to what dismays us or hurts us.
I don’t always get it right either.
I had a wonderful morning but the weather got skunky and it’s too cold to work on some of my DIY projects in the garage. I’m attending our Maundy Thursday service tonight and so don’t have time to really start anything. I have a hard time with boredom.
I could be experiencing a mood drop, but I’m not because I’ve paid attention to my day and realized that the conditions were ripe for me to feel a little down. It’s healing when we are in touch with our vulnerabilities. It keeps us from being confused about our moods. There is an explanation.
So the next time your mood plummets, go back over your day. Maybe even the past couple of days. You will always find a precipitating factor.
(I do need to add that a sugar high can often trigger a low mood when that sugar high drops quickly to a sugar low. Again, look back over your day.)
I hope this is a good day for you and God bless.
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