As we watch the images and follow the updates of the path of Hurricane Sandy we are confronted with the fine line media must walk between providing necessary, often life-saving information and escalating anxiety and traumatic reactions. While adults, themselves, need to find a viable way to regulate their exposure to traumatic media cues, it is particularly important to consider the impact of disaster media cues on children.
Given the centrality of media in this culture the impact of media coverage of man-made or natural disasters on children can easily go unrecognized.
If you and your partner find yourselves battling over throwing out the garbage or doing the laundry, you are not alone and neither may actually be to blame. A closer look may offer some understanding and some alternatives.
The Division of Labor
What may seem, however, like an easy division of labor, “you shop” and “I’ll cook” is actually not so easy. In fact the notion that a perfectly balanced list could or should exist is a myth. People just don’t function that way.
Numerous studies have identified exercise as a key factor in reducing depression symptoms. A recent study heightens the argument by finding that as compared to age, race, gender, body mass index cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, it was the sedentary lifestyle of a depressed person that alone accounted for about 25% of the risk of heart-related deaths. The message is that we need to move because our lives depend on it!
The problem is that when you are depressed often the last thing you want to do is exercise.
Given the despair, lethargy, self-doubt, exhaustion, disinterest in activities and shame experienced with depression, the suggestion to exercise feels like adding insult to injury. “I’m not exercising because I’m depressed.”
Knowing exercise could help, but feeling unable to do so often adds to the self-recriminations and low self-esteem of depression. In one case, the more the young woman watched other family members exercise – the less possible it felt.
Given the recent discussion of the pros and cons of medications and treatments for depression, it seems clear that people need to have information and treatment options. It also seems important to stack the deck toward feeling better with anything that might work for you. If you have wanted to exercise but find it impossible – here are some suggestions.