Anxiety

The high stressed, overworked, perfectionistic lifestyle many of us are attempting to live is causing our US society a lot of anxiety.  There are many anxiety symptoms but despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America give the following statistics about anxiety disorders in the US on their website:

  • “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.”

Another interesting point about anxiety is the role it plays in conjunction with depression.  Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression often creates anxiety symptoms (and vice versa), it’s important to seek treatment for both conditions. In fact, nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Seeking help, treatment, and support can lessen anxiety along with finding techniques to avoid or prevent anxiety before it becomes problematic in one’s life.

Suicide Rates on Rise in U.S.

In a new report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) they indicate that suicide rates are on the rise in the United States and have been increasing in number since the year 2000.

In fact, from 1999 to 2015, approximately 600,000 U.S. residents died by suicide, with 2015 being the deadliest year. Interestingly, the groups that are ranked highest are not those from the big cities, instead they are from the rural areas.  Further, the ethnic groups dealing with the increase in suicides the most is the Native Americans and those who are white.

Of note is that the report shows a steady climb with a spike around the year 2008.  In speculating why this spike occurred, one thought is that it may have been due to the pressures of the financial recession that occurred in our country at that same time.  Many individuals felt hopeless and stressed in their financial predicaments when businesses were closing their doors and the stock market plummeted.  In more detail is the fact that the rural communities suffered more in the recession due to poverty and social isolation along with less mental health treatment facilities and that may explain why the rates of suicide there are higher.

Further, since the year 2000, the CDC points out that men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women and the rate worsened in almost all categories assessed after 2008.

The findings of the CDC indicate that more mental health institutions need to be available in rural areas to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts.  The opioid crisis doesn’t help either along with other drug issues and the rural communities have been especially hard hit by that as well.  Finding solutions and having more preventative help in place for these ethnic groups, and in rural locations would be helpful in combating the increasing rate of suicides in the United States.

source: vocavtiv.com

Teen Boys and DepressionTeen Depression Becoming More Common in Boys

Sad but true, statistics show that more and more teen boys are living with depression. What was once thought to be more of a teen girl issue, has noticeably been seen in many teen boys. With rates of anxiety disorders and depression up among teen boys, depression among males is nearly as it is among females in this age group.

Teen boys are learning and trying to become men. They get ideas about how to do this through television, movies, books, friends, and from older men. Many of these examples portray individuals who don’t have emotional problems that look like depression. Because of that, teen boys don’t feel like confronting their depression because it doesn’t seem “manly” or sometimes even allowed. This can make detecting and treating teen depression difficult.

Further, unlike female teens who may cry or express emotions outwardly, teen boys generally hold their feelings inside. Their depression may be expressed as anger or outbursts. Sometimes teen boys detach or can’t concentrate but more often, they hide their feelings or ignore them when they are feeling depressed. Also, most may not realize they are dealing with depression. Instead, because of what has been portrayed to them by society of what is “manly,” they may just feel weak and attempt to hide the feelings of frailty they are dealing with.

According to rightstep.com, “Boys ignore depression by zoning out in TV or video games. They ignore it by spending hour upon hour in their room listening to music. Rarely will adolescent boys verbalize their struggles. Instead (they adopts a mask to cover the pain (they are) feeling.”

Today’s teen boys are facing unprecedented stresses from many directions. Not only do many of them live in homes with divorced parents, step-siblings, and back and forth visitation, there is also less certainty about the careers and future jobs than there once was. Some teens may feel depressed about what lies ahead in their future.

Although there is a rise in depression among teen boys, there is much that can be done to solve the problem and help these boys regain confidence and happiness in their lives. Awareness and prevention are important; being open with your teen boy and having conversations about what depression entails can help him identify and seek help if it is needed.

 

 

girl sits in a depression on the floor near the wallMyths about clinical depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 2% of the adult population struggles with clinical depression at some point in their lives. This psychiatric disorder is one of the most common in the United States.

When diagnosed, many individuals seek treatment for their clinical depression. However, many avoid treatment and continue to suffer. There are several reasons why people don’t seek treatment for their clinical depression. For instance, they may not believe the diagnosis and may be hesitant to accept the fact that they have clinical depression. They may not believe that treatment for clinical depression can help them. There is also a chance that they don’t even recognize that they need help.

Some believe the common myths that are associated with clinical depression. Understanding these myths about depression can help individuals seek the help they need and find answers to the questions they are seeking. Common myths about depression include:

Only women get depressed. Although it’s not true that only women get depressed, it is true that women are more likely to report it to their doctors, or talk about their depression symptoms with other people. Men need help just as much as women when it comes to overcoming depression, especially since they rarely seek out help or support on their own.

Antidepressants will cure depression. While antidepressants can help to minimize the symptoms of depression, therapy will generally also be prescribed to help those struggling with clinical depression. Whether individuals participate in therapy in an outpatient setting or a clinical depression treatment center, the combination of therapy and antidepressants can help patients find quick and more long-lasting relief from their depression symptoms.

Depression is hereditary; if a parent suffers from clinical depression, the child will suffer from depression too. Although a family history of depression can be a contributing factor to a diagnosis of clinical depression, it is not the primary factor. If a parent has struggled with depression, it can be helpful to find out what treatment was effective in overcoming the depression for the parent. The more one knows, the better equipped they may be to recover from their own battle with clinical depression.

Depression will go away on its own. Sometimes this happens, but more often, depression symptoms can linger with many people for months, even years. For individuals with clinical depression, the symptoms may seem to pass momentarily, only to come back at a later date.

Depression always leads to suicide. This is a common myth – especially among young people. But just because an individual is suffering from clinical depression, it doesn’t mean that they are having suicidal thoughts or actions. Many symptoms of depression have nothing to do with thoughts of suicide, such as lack of drive or motivation, having no desire to be social, lack of appetite, or an inability to get out of bed. Usually, suicidal thoughts come with very severe depression, and can be a symptom of another psychiatric disorder.

Depression FactsDepression Facts

  1.  Of the estimated 17.5 million Americans who are affected by some form of depression, 9.2 million have major or clinical depression
  2. The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated
  3. Women experience depression about twice as often as men
  4. By the year 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of “lost years of healthy life” worldwide
  5. Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population

(www.psychiatry.wust.edu)

There are three basic causes of depression:

  1. A family history of depression
  2. Drug or alcohol abuse
  3. Feeling trapped in your life

Recurrence Rates of Depression:

  1. After one episode of depression, the risk of another episode is 50 percent
  2. After two episodes of depression, the risk of another episode is 70 percent
  3. After three episodes of depression, the risk of another episode is 90 percent.

Approximately 15 percent of people who have depression, have chronic depression.  The bad news is that depression is recurrent.  The good news is that depression is treatable.  (Anxietydepressionhealth.org)

Feeling depressed doesn’t mean you feel sad.  Sometimes this is confusing.  People don’t believe they are depressed because they aren’t sad.  Sometimes people are depressed in other ways.  A good definition of depression is a lack of vitality.  You may have low energy, high anxiety, lack of enjoyment, or lack of fulfillment.  Depression affects one’s entire body.

An interesting fact is that depression doesn’t usually get worse.  Sometimes it gives depressed people comfort to know this.  It’s unlikely that mild depression will turn into severe depression: even though mild depression is very painful.

Abusing drugs or alcohol will definitely lead to depression because they deplete your brain of serotonin and dopamine. Brain scans show that it can take months for a brain’s chemistry to return to normal after drug or alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse almost doubles the risk of depression.

Marijuana users are four times more likely to develop depression.

Even stimulants such as cocaine cause depression. Cocaine initially stimulates your brain, and temporarily elevates your mood. But over the long run it depletes your brain of serotonin and dopamine and leads to depression.

DepressionSymptoms of Depression

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual. However, the more symptoms are exhibited, the stronger the symptoms are, and if the symptoms are longer lasting—the more likely it is that an individual is dealing with depression.

If you are suffering with some of the following symptoms and they are persistent, you may be suffering from clinical depression. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that’s when it’s time to seek help for depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness, even aggression
  • Loss of interest in daily activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased  or loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Easy tasks now feel difficult
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia)
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Unexplained aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior

 

References: Helpguide.org, Nimh.nih.gov

Effects of Depression

Effects of Depression

What are some Depression Effects?

Most of us have either experienced depression or have been affected by someone else who is struggling with it.  We know it’s lonely and hard for the person experiencing it as well as for those impacted by the depression.  It’s also somewhat common knowledge that being depressed wears out certain parts of our body.  These effects may vary depending on age, gender and other factors, however, 8 key effects of depression have been cited by healblog.net. The information on each of these effects of depression is listed below:

Insomnia: Insomnia is the inability to sleep. At times, the regular pattern of sleep is broken frequently with the person waking up and feeling restless in the middle of the sleep. Most often, people tend to wake up early and are not able to go back to sleep

Weight fluctuations: Sometimes the person begins to forego food, resulting in weight loss.  Or, he or she may begin to overeat or do less physical activity, resulting in weight gain.

Physical symptoms: Some physical symptoms associated with depression include fatigue, headache, digestive related problems, and body ache.

Depression affects people according to their ages Children who are depressed may feel insecure, demanding, and irritable while older people have been known to develop physical disorders like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Thyroid Disease:  Thyroid patients have higher cases of depression than those without the disease.  Thyroid disease symptoms include: muscle and joint pain, neck discomfort, hair/skin changes, bowel problems, menstrual irregularities/fertility problems, cholesterol issues, weight change, fatigue.

Increased DHEA levels: With increased DHEA levels, the adrenal glands can break down, causing cortisol levels to increase. These higher levels of cortisol in the blood can cause people to worry more and feel more anxious.

Decline in libido: Depression can cause a dip in libido as well as sexual problems like decreased potency, premature ejaculation and lack of vaginal lubrication.

Heart related problems and blood pressure: Depression can worsen and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. It is also a leading cause of stroke and high blood pressure. The leading cause of heart disease is documented to be stress and depression.  The relationship between depression and heart disease has not yet been well understood but it has been shown that an agitated mindset or a depressed mood can be the cause of blood pressure related and heart problems.

If you are experiencing these effects of depression, consult with your doctor or call Turning Point Centers at #1-888-576-HEAL (4325) to find a solution for improving your moods and your quality of life…..loving help is available!!

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