Depression is something that plagues some 40 million Americans. It definitely a Cloud Hanging Overhead Even in the Best of Times. Support for someone suffering from depression is vital for the individual, their relationships and the family. Recognizing an individual may be depressed is the first step.
Depression can be described as a “kind of numbness, an enervation, an odd fragility — as if my body had become frail, hypersensitive and somehow disjointed and clumsy” in the words of author William Styron.
Did You Know?
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
- People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Depression is the Cloud Hanging Overhead Even in the Best of Times
Depression is a medical condition that may cause an individual to feel sad, unable to enjoy activities, have no energy, have difficulty concentrating, and have suicidal thoughts. It is a brain disorder and a state of mind.
Depression affects around 40 million people in the United States. The types of depression include mood disorders, situational depression, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Family history, situational factors and hormones may cause depression or affect symptoms.
Serotonin is the hormone in the brain that increases when an individual is laughing or is happy, breathes deeply or exercises. Individuals with depression have depleted serotonin levels, this is a common belief. It is thought to regulate mood, happiness, and anxiety. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, while increased levels of the hormone may decrease arousal.
Chronic pain may cause depletion of serotonin levels as the individual struggles.
The suffering individual may inadvertently shut out family members and friends. A depressed person may not perform well at work. Clinical studies show that parents suffering from depression do not make eye contact with infant children, which leads to delayed development in the child.
Suicide as an endpoint for a depressed individual has far-reaching final consequences for family and relationships. Some individuals suffering from depression may attempt to use unhealthy or risky behaviors to feel better — drug use, compulsive shopping, excessive exercise, or risky sexual behavior.
Suicide preventionIf you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
There have been great strides in treating depression with medication. Many patients will start medication treatment with their primary care provider, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or doctor.
Complex cases need a referral to a higher level of care or a psychiatrist. Behavioral health counseling may be beneficial for the depressed individual, and referral along with medication is the gold standard.
Other modalities that have shown benefit include self-care — eating healthy, taking time for oneself, talking through issues with family and friends, and exercising. Deep breathing exercises or meditation can cause feelings of well-being with the release of endorphins, a brain hormone similar to morphine.
Brought to you by the people of Stay Healthy.
Get Fit | Stay Fit | Get Healthy | Stay Healthy