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Albright College

TIP OF THE MONTH
August

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION

Basic Facts About Clinical Depression:  

  • The most common of mental illness, affecting more than 19 million Americans each year.
  • Can cause people to lose interest in daily pleasures, complicate other medical conditions, and serious enough to cause suicide.
  • Depression can happen to anyone.  It does not have an age, race or gender.
  • Regardless of age, race, gender or medical condition depression is never a “normal” part of life.
  • Treatment for depression is very successful; unfortunately fewer than half of the people suffering from depression seek treatment.  People resist treatment because they feel that they can treat themselves, it’s really not that serious, or it’s a personal weakness rather than a medical condition.

Treatments for Clinical Depression:

Clinical depression is very treatable.  More than 80% of those who sought treatment show improvements.  Most common treatments are medication therapy, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.  Treatment must come from a health care provider or a qualified mental health professional.  The type of treatment given depends on the severity and symptoms of the depression.  Getting treatment early is more effective and prevents the likeliness of serious recurrences.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiousness or a feeling of emptiness. 
  • Sleeping irregularities such as:  sleeping too much, too little, difficulty falling asleep, or difficulty staying asleep. 
  • Fluctuations in weight from loss of appetite or increased appetite. 
  • Loss of pleasures in life that were once enjoyed, including sex. 
  • Restlessness, irritability. 
  • Persistent symptoms unresponsive to treatments (chronic pain or digestive disorders). 
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions 
  • Fatigue or loss of energy 
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless 
  • Thoughts of suicide or deathIf you are experiencing these symptoms for more than two weeks you should talk to your health care provider or a qualified mental health professional for help.

Causes of Clinical Depression:

There are many contributing factors to clinical depression.  For some a number of factors seem to be involved, while others only a single factor is involved.  More often than not, people become depressed for no apparent reason. 

  • Biological – Changes in brain chemicals may cause or contribute to clinical depression. 
  • Cognitive – Negative thinking patterns and low self-esteem can lead to clinical depression. 
  • Gender – Women develop clinical depression at a rate that is nearly twice that of men.  Reasons are still unclear.  Could be hormonal or the daily stressors and responsibilities of just being a woman. 
  • Co-occurrence – Clinical depression is also more likely to show up with other disorders such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and hormonal disorders. 
  • Medications – Certain types of medications can bring on depression. 
  • Genetic – Familial history can increase the risk of developing clinical depression and other mental illnesses. 
  • Situational – Difficult life events such as:  divorce, financial problems or the death of a loved one can contribute to clinical depression.

For More Information:

If you need help finding treatment, support groups, medication information, help paying for your medications, your local Mental Health America affiliate, and other mental health-related services in your community please click on this website for assistance http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/faqs/.  If you or someone you know is in crisis NOW, seek help immediately.  You can call 1-800-273-8255 to reach a 24 hour crisis center, dial 911 for immediate assistance or proceed to your local hospital emergency department.  Albright employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Diakon Inroads at (610)378-1191 and toll-free at (800)432-7011.*The information provided in this article can be found at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/depression *Have a safe and healthy August.

 

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