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.


 
 

 
Photo by Spc. Denitra Halford, 11th ACR Public Affairs

Ready and Resilient team building

Photo by Spc. Denitra Halford, 11th ACR Public Affairs The 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment commander, Lt. Col. Shane Celeen, congratulates his Soldiers after they took the top trophy in the Commander’s Cup challen...
 
 
Spc. Denitra Halford

Celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month

Spc. Denitra Halford Samuel Martinez, a Cheyenne Dancer, performs at the National American Indian Heritage Month observance here, Dec. 3. The event celebrated the history and culture of the American Indian culture. The Fort Irw...
 
 

Serving here: making a difference in something larger than yourself

Command Sgt. Maj. Noe Salinas and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and was able to spend time with friends and family during opportunity leave. The New Year will bring many challenges; we hope that all are well rested and reenergized as 2015 begins. We are very proud of the job that Soldiers,...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Cantonment burros moved to wilder pastures

Gustavo Bahena Louis Andreas, lead wrangler with Bureau of Land Management at Ridgecrest, Calif., oversees three burros moving toward a trailer, Dec. 4. Six burros – three females and three males – trotted off a trailer and...
 
 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Sharing holiday cheer with military, community leaders

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC (Left to right) Aide-de-camp 1st Lt. Daniel Bukema, Kim Creed, and National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin. Martin presented Creed with a commemorative medal he hand-c...
 
 

News Briefs January 9, 2015

Now through Jan. 28 Enrollment for Theater Arts Drama Club by SKIESUnlimited. Parent Central, building 109, or webtrac.mwr.army.mil. Ages 8-18. Session 1, Jan. 13-29, $30. Session 2, Jan. 29-March 31, $112. Class held at Ingalls Rec., building 361, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5 p.m. Must be enrolled to audition, Jan. 29, for production of “Frozen,” which...
 




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