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I dunno... maybe it was the hound dog I fell in love with?

I dunno… maybe it was the hound dog I fell in love with?

I have a confession to make. I loved CBS’s “Hee Haw”. Growing up I had three television channels. Thank goodness CBS was one of them. I’d list everything I loved about “Hee Haw”, but frankly I loved EVERYTHING about “Hee Haw”. I’d be listing instead of posting! Some folks hated it – even some of my siblings. But I was a true fan. I loved all things musical, even the “Lawrence Welk Show” and the “Donnie and Marie Osmond Show”. Go figure.

One of the weekly skits was done by a quartet (sometimes trio) of regulars singing “Gloom, Despair” written by Roy Clark and Buck Owens. It is a “right cheerful song” – <BIG GRIN>. Here are the lyrics:

Gloom, despair, and agony on me Deep, dark depression, excessive misery… If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all Gloom, despair, and agony on me…

If you’d like to listen to the lively tune, CLICK HERE.

Now that I’m in my late 40′s and have some “life” tucked under my experience belt, I hum or burst out in song far more “Hee Haw” songs than Lawrence Welk or Donnie and Marie tunes.

If It Weren’t for Bad Luck

Have you ever felt that “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”? Have you ever felt as if you were facing “deep, dark depression”? I suppose if I had to pick ONE constant theme in various emails that I receive each week from readers, it would be that people with disabilities, folks living with chronic illness, souls who live with invisible illness… deal with depression. It can be mild forms and only a sporadic nuisance. Maybe it is something you deal with on a daily basis, however, and a more chronic and constant issue for you.

I’m big on citing scholarly research about various topics. However, depression is so closely linked with various disabilities and illnesses, that there are simply to many studies to choose from for this post! I, too, struggle with depression. Gloom, despair, and agony… well OK, maybe not that last one – grin!

Something I’m having to learn to deal with is that I also cannot take many medications available to some who struggle with mild, moderate, or major depression. Dizziness and vertigo are the #1 side effect listed by most – if not all. Having Meniere’s disease can complicate things. You already know I fall a lot. However, I also lose consciousness a great deal from the fact that my head makes contact with something else on the way “down”. Seven mild concussions in five years means that I have to traverse my life carefully and methodically. I have to make decisions to lesson my chances of getting dizzy and falling. What’s a person to do if medications increase your risk of other problems – like falling?

Medications are not the only way to treat depression. As a matter of fact, I believe research shows that best results occur when medications are coupled with cognitive-behavioral therapy. But if taking medications are not an option for you, what can you do? You do all you CAN.

1. Therapy

Talk with someone. If insurance or finances do not make this a great option for you, reach out to folks who may have training in various faith-based arenas like churches or community centers.

Unload on a trusted friend. But do it. Reach out.

2. Self-help books

You can’t go into a bookstore without finding that “self help” books evidently are big sellers. Some of them are actually written by people with real expertise, however. Do some research… find out what is good (not necessarily popular).

3. Join a support group

In a digital age, there are even support groups online. This can be great for people with schedule concerns or privacy issues. There is something pretty special about discussing topics of concern with people who live what you are living. Do you prefer meeting face-to-face? Check out your local library and see what groups might be meeting there. Check with a county commission on disabilities to see if there are area support groups. Consider starting one yourself!

4. Try an “alternative” option

Complimentary and alternative medicines have brought us to a place where meditation, chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, and biofeedback are options for some people. Even herbal remedies for things like mood and depression help some folks. Do your research. Talk to your doctor. There is evidence these avenues have helped people!

Not sure if your feelings of depression are something that actually needs to be addressed? Few problems just go away on their own. When you live with disability or chronic illness, depression can creep into the picture. Psychologists will tell you that it is a co-morbid diagnosis for many who have some OTHER diagnosis. Deal with it. Find something that works for you.

Comments and feedback are welcome! You are not alone.

Denise Portis

© 2013 Personal Hearing Loss Journal