Women’s symposium stresses finding some time for oneself

Published 10:03 pm Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lynwood C. Wheeler, Ph.D., ABPP, spoke to the Women’s Health Symposium attendees on Pearl River Community College’s campus regarding depression in women and how to avoid it. The sellout crowd for the Saturday, Jan. 31, event filled Crosby Hall’s cafeteria.

According to Wheeler, “Depression in women is diagnosed two times as frequently as in the male population. In 23 years of practice I’ve seen that expectations placed on women account for much of the stress that can lead to depression.

“When a woman works all day and is, many times, paid less than her male counterpart for the same job her self image suffers. Then, add the work she needs to accomplish after putting in a full eight hours at her ‘outside the home’ job. Many times women plan meals, prepare meals, clean up and take care of the children’s needs without much help. Homework and bedtime rituals often fall on the woman’s shoulders. Add to that a husband who wants to know where the mustard is when he is looking straight at it, and a woman may get a little frazzled by the end of a busy day.”

Wheeler humorously depicted today’s woman as one expected to look good, feel good, smell good and be ready for romance after putting in a day’s work that it would take three men to handle.

“It’s no wonder that many women suffer from depression,” he said.

“And then there is Facebook. How is a normal woman to feel good about herself when all she sees are other’s perfect kids and the vacations they’ve taken all over the world? Compared to that, how can she feel happy about her kid’s mission trip to Lumberton?” added Wheeler.

The ladies roared with laughter at this look at a woman’s life and were left with some food for thought. In his years of counseling and in his own life Wheeler has found his answers in Jesus. He shared that Jesus found the demands on His time required Him to pull back. He had to get away from the crowd and take care of Himself.

Wheeler said, “If God had to take care of himself and take some time off then you do too.”

Pat Gardare and Kathy Sabella, along with six other women, call themselves the “Golden Glitter Girls.” They have attended the Women’s Health Symposium together for four years.

Sabella said, “All the speakers were very good, and I enjoy it each year. I can agree that we all need to take care of ourselves. My son has four children, and I am a widow. I pick up the kids after school and help with them. I really enjoy that. One of my older grandsons has been in a wreck, and I help out by taking him to physical therapy. I love my friends and family and want to help, but I also know that it’s important to find time for myself.”