Submitted by ub on Mon, 01/26/2015 - 21:41

If you're one of the millions who suffer from anxiety and depression and feeling the winter blues in a major way, the constant extreme-cold temps and gray skies are taking their toll.

It's a feeling of emptiness that makes the bones feel so heavy, and a forklift couldn't get you out of bed. It's a deep sadness that usually comes with something like the loss of a loved one. It's an achy neck and irritable snaps, racing thoughts or no thoughts at all. It's exhausting.

For the 1 in 4 people who are at lifetime risk for depression, please take care of yourself this time of year. The extra effort to stay active and healthy and happy is worth it. For those who haven't experienced depression, please don't be dismissive, and take note if you see signs coming from the people you love.

There is the constant exhaustion, the alcohol or drugs, the forgetfulness and restless sleep. At first, it's every few days, but then suddenly, it's falling down the slippery slope until one only wants to lie in bed and stare with hot tears burning my eyes at the crack on the ceiling fan.

Here's to warmer, sunnier and happier days ahead for all of us.