Health & Safety

December 6, 2012

Holiday depression help

Tags:
Serina Viers
Public Affairs Officer Weed Army Community Hospital NTC and Fort Irwin


As the holidays approach, people generally look forward to spending time with family and friends, taking a few days off of work, and just enjoying the season. Unfortunately for some Service Members and their Families, the holiday season is nothing more than a reminder of how they will miss these very opportunities. Distance from extended family, stress over finances, and the general monotony of life can be difficult to handle this time of year. Depression can set in which can lead to risky behaviors such as substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.

Depression is one of the most common and treatable mental disorders, according to Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Service Members and their Families experience unique emotional challenges. Deployment and redeployment, single parenting and long absences of loved ones are a stressful part of military life.

Here at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, our unique mission of continuous training can be just as stressful as a regular deployment. Add to that the remoteness of our location and the sudden slow-down in operational tempo (due to multiple White Weeks in conjunction with Opportunity Leave) and it is easy to understand why some may be feeling bored and looking for “something to do” to take their minds off their troubles.
While holiday gatherings and events are excellent ways to get into the spirit of the season, they can also be an “excuse” for those who are hurting. For some it may become an opportunity to “drown their sorrows” in alcohol, or engage in other risky behavior. It is up to each of us to watch for warning signs that may signal depression in our family, friends and even ourselves. Headaches, overeating, changes in personal hygiene, difficulty sleeping, and excessive drinking are common signs of holiday depression. Marked increases in argumentative or violent behaviors or conversely, sadness or withdrawal are also indicators that someone may be depressed.

The NTC and Fort Irwin has multiple resources available for those who may be suffering from the holiday blues. Weed Army Behavioral Health Services has providers that can assist those dealing with depression. Clinic hours are Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and walk-in services are available. You can also call 380-3631 for appointments. Patients can call 911 after hours or anytime, for help. The NTC Army Substance Abuse Program is open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 1 – 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. All after hours emergencies should proceed directly to the Weed Army Emergency Department. Support services are also available through Military Family Life Consultants and Chaplain Services. Specific contact points for MFLC can be found at http://www.irwin.army.mil/Community/Pages/MilitaryFamilyLifeConsultants.aspx. The NTC and Fort Irwin Chaplain services can be reached at 380-3562.

Keep in mind that your Battle Buddy is also a good resource. Battle buddies know you better than most and are should be available 24/7. As a Battle Buddy, know your buddy and watch for warning signs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Remember “ACE” – Ask, Care, Escort.

If you suspect that someone you know may be suffering from holiday depression, even if that person is you, do not wait. Reach out, make contact. Emotional pain is real but the support you need is available. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather, a sign of strength.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Legal counsel helps Soldiers with Integrated Disability Evaluation System

Soldiers undergoing a medical evaluation board sometimes feel lost and confused with the significant decisions they have to make that will affect their military careers and the rest of their lives. The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel is the Army’s team of qualified and trained attorneys and paralegals who assist Soldiers in the Integrated Disability Evaluation...
 
 
JAG_seal

The power to contract – use it wisely

The basic memorialization or record of any business transaction is a contract. More often than not, this contract is the only evidence of any relationship between the parties to the transaction. Whether you are purchasing somet...
 
 
Convoy_brief

NTC trainers prepare units for success on battle fields of today, tomorrow

Staff Sgt. Marcus McCormick, of the 289th Quartermaster Company, provides a convoy its mission brief Aug. 20 during a morning supply mission.   The training that rotational units receive here can be brutal – challenging ...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Department of Defense official views training area

Gustavo Bahena National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin motions while speaking with Jamie Morin, director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense. The director of Co...
 
 
Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook

Women combat isolation with mentorship

Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook Sgt. Meriem Ettioutioui (right), 51st Translator and Interpreter Company, talks with Spc. Farida Alvi and Spc. Maryam Mahfeli, also with 51st TICO, about her deployment experience in 2013. The tough ...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

IMCOM command sergeant major visits Fort Irwin

Gustavo Bahena Fort Irwin USAG Commander Col. Jon Braga points to an illustration of the installation’s future new hospital while speaking with Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Hartless, of United States Army Installation Management...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin