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Healthline Connects

Summer from Hell: Getting a Handle on Anxiety & Depression


I am so glad summer is over because for me, it has been a summer from hell. It's not the worst summer of my life - that was the one when my husband died when our daughter was 7 months old and the mountains were on fire. I thought the world was ending. No this summer, my darling daughter who once worshiped me turned 13 and decided she hated me and let me know about it, loudly and often. That caused me a lot of anxiety. My job was causing me anxiety. I got anemic and run down for the usual reasons. Things were spiraling down hill. Hey! I'm a health expert - this isn't supposed to happen. I needed to get a handle on things.

I got my stress under control. I sent my daughter to visit my sister and her daughter for 3 weeks. I took a vacation - at home, alone. Sort of. I got my anemia under control with rest, food, iron supplements and a multivitamin with folate. I spent time in the sun, exercising. I meditated. But crazy things kept happening to me. The well collapsed on a property in the country that has been in our family for years - I have to get a new well dug!

Anxiety and stress that last over time and come at as from so many angles of our life can begin to erode our confidence in ourselves and our sense of competence as a person. The first symptom I recognized was middle insomnia - I was waking up in the middle of the night, ruminating about all the things I felt I was doing wrong. Then I realized I had lost quite a bit of weight without really trying (not so undesirable!). Next I realized I was feeling sad, blue and irritable. When it was a beautiful sunny day and I found myself lying in bed crying in the afternoon I said, "Oh, yuck. I'm depressed." I wasn't profoundly depressed - it hadn't gone on for 2 weeks - I was mildly depressed. This called for action. Prompt action to prevent a slide downhill. I share this with everyone because I'm not really ashamed. There are few people who don't get depressed from time to time. Most of us don't realize we can prevent a slide into a deeper depression -(some of us, sometimes).
  • Reach out to people who care about you: I made some phone calls and talked to people who love me
  • Get out of the house and do something fun: the worst thing to do is wallow - get up &: get going. I chose several fun things to do and had fun doing them
  • Make sure you get a good night's sleep.
Knowing I had middle insomnia, I forced myself to stay up late, until I was really tired. I went to bed late and when I woke up, the sun was shining - it was 7:30 AM, unheard of for me. I felt like a new person. Sleep restores the soul.

My kid is back at school, I'm back at work, and my stressors continue to bombard me. But I am sleeping through the night, and I am not depressed. Summer is over. Tomorrow is another day.
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