The state of Georgia is depressed -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The state of Georgia is depressed


December 18, 2007

Albany--  Higher bills and less money to pay them contributes to depression that is already prevalent during the holidays.

Georgia ranks 11th when it comes to depression. What may be even more alarming is that the state is also in the top 20 with it's suicide rates. The holidays don't help some with their feelings of despair but there is help available.

With December's decorations, busy parking lots and shopping it's easy to get caught up in the Christmas spirit. "Happiness with your family and your friends," said shopper Tina Rose.

And many would say that happiness comes at their favorite time of the year.

"I get joy. Lots," said Carlewis Brown. But that Christmas cheer can often make a 180 degree turn to depression.

"The months of November and December, we have been at an all time high with our census," said Susan Hardie. Phoebe's Behavioral Health has seen an upswing of people down this holiday season. Counselor Susan Hardie calls depression a prison. People often seek a permanent freedom from that confinement.

"Depression can lead a person to acts of suicide or self-harm so we look at it as very serious," said Hardie. Some serious problems can lead to that depression or suicidal thoughts.

"The biggest culprit would be stress, a loss of family member, grief issues," said Hardie. Having family members away in the military can also contribute to depression. Hardie says there is help available. They offer partial hospitalization in a group setting to discuss feelings.

"When you're with a group of people, it helps you to get back out there and socialize, to know that you're not alone, we can get a lot of comfort from each other," said Hardie. Comfort can also come in the form of doing something in honor of that lost loved one.

"Whether it be to give a gift to a child or make a donation in memory of a loved one. Do something positive.  Reflect on the good times," said Hardie.

The good times may come with just the hope that things will eventually get better. "You'll make it through it. God will get you through," said Rose.

That way there won't be anymore Christmas blues and those feeling out of it, can join in on the Christmas cheer.

If you're feeling depressed and need help or someone to turn to, Phoebe Behavioral Health has free assessments and can usually take you the same day. They can be reached at 229-312-7001.