Good News About Depression! People Are Taking Ownership Of Their Mental Health Conditions

There’s been a disconnect for the longest time regarding when people had their initial symptoms for depression, and when they made a concerted effort to receive professional diagnosis and treatment (Dattani, 2022).

Members of the public may have feared being ostracized if others found out they suffered from a mental health condition (Community Reach Center, 2019). They may have thought their symptoms would miraculously disappear. To expand further, they may have been unaware of the procedures in obtaining mental health services, while others may not have had mental health services readily available in their locale (Community Reach Center, 2019).

Regardless of the explanations for not getting mental health services, a mental health condition is probably the most intrusive ailment a person could ever encounter because the brain controls the entire body. As a result, the longer depression goes untreated the greater the chances for a brain chemical imbalance.

The Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research (2022) provides images [Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans] of a brain under the influence of depression, and what a healthy brain looks like.

Consequently, the person who could have obtained early diagnosis and been placed on a psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment program (World Health Organization, 2021, and National Alliance On Mental Health, 2017), now has to be placed on psychotropics because they waited too long to seek help.

Depression can shrink the brain (i.e., the brain is under assault from depression), which can interfere with the natural flow of neurotransmitters (Amiel, 2022) and (Davey, 2015).

As the years progress, more people are getting early diagnosis for symptoms associated with depression, and doing so in earlier periods of their lives (Dattani, 2022). This acceptance can be considered a brand of preventative treatment by health consumers: People who take an active role in maintaining good health, and taking steps in avoiding a current condition from becoming worse (Health Consumers NSW, 2019).

Vikki

References

Amiel, M., M. D. (2022). What Happens To The Brain During Depression? Retrieved From https://www.transformationstreatment.center/treatment/what-happens-to-the-brain-during-depression/#:~:text=Depression%20causes%20the%20hippocampus%20to,of%20cortisol%2C%20the%20amygdala%20enlarges.

Community Rearch Center. (2019). Why People Don’t Seek Treatment For Depression. Retrieved From https://www.communityreachcenter.org/news/why-people-dont-seek-treatment-for-depression/

Dattani, S. (2022). At What Age Do People Experience Depression For the First Time? Retrieved From https://ourworldindata.org/depression-age-of-onset#:~:text=As%20the%20data%20shows%2C%20on,later%2C%20at%2031%20years%20old.

Davey, M. L. (2015). Mental Health. Chronic Depression Shrinks Brain’s Memories And Emotions. Retrieved From https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/30/chronic-depression-shrinks-brains-memories-and-emotions

Health Consumers NSW. (2019). Who Is A Health Consumer? and other definitions. Retrieved From https://www.hcnsw.org.au/consumers-toolkit/who-is-a-health-consumer-and-other-definitions/#:~:text=Health%20Consumers%20are%20people%20who,the%20service%20in%20the%20future.

Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research. (2022). PET Scan Of The Brain For Depression. Retrieved From https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pet-scan/multimedia/-pet-scan-of-the-brain-for-depression/img-20007400#:~:text=A%20PET%20scan%20can%20compare,brain%20activity%20due%20to%20depression.

National Alliance On Mental Health. (2017). Depression. About Mental Health. Retrieved From https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression

World Health Organization. (2021). Depression. Key Facts. Retrieved From https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

Endnotes

  1. Solmi, M., Radua, J., Olivola, M., Croce, E., Soardo, L., Salazar de Pablo, G., Il Shin, J., Kirkbride, J. B., Jones, P., Kim, J. H., Kim, J. Y., Carvalho, A. F., Seeman, M. V., Correll, C. U., & Fusar-Poli, P. (2021). Age at onset of mental disorders worldwide: Large-scale meta-analysis of 192 epidemiological studies. Molecular Psychiatryhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01161-7
    The studies included in this meta-analysis measured this age in different ways. Some studies looked at the age when symptoms of the disorder began, some looked at when they were first diagnosed, and others looked at when they first received treatment for the disorder or were first hospitalized for it. The median age of onset for some disorders, such as substance use disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders was earlier when it was measured by first symptoms than when it was measured by first diagnosis or first hospitalization.
  2. Medici, C. R., Videbech, P., Gustafsson, L. N., & Munk-Jørgensen, P. (2015). Mortality and secular trend in the incidence of bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders183, 39–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.04.032
    Mauz, E., & Jacobi, F. (2008). Psychische Störungen und soziale Ungleichheit im Geburtskohortenvergleich. Psychiatrische Praxis35(07), 343-352. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2008-1067557
    Scott, J., Etain, B., Azorin, J. M., & Bellivier, F. (2018). Secular trends in the age at onset of bipolar I disorder – Support for birth cohort effects from international, multi-centre clinical observational studies. European Psychiatry52, 61–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2018.04.002
    Plana‐Ripoll, O., Momen, N. C., McGrath, J. J., Wimberley, T., Brikell, I., Schendel, D., Thygesen, M., Weye, N., Pedersen, C. B., Mors, O., Mortensen, P. B., & Dalsgaard, S. (2022). Temporal changes in sex‐ and age‐specific incidence profiles of mental disorders—A nationwide study from 1970 to 2016. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, acps.13410. https://doi.org/10.1111/acps.13410
  3. Plana‐Ripoll, O., Momen, N. C., McGrath, J. J., Wimberley, T., Brikell, I., Schendel, D., Thygesen, M., Weye, N., Pedersen, C. B., Mors, O., Mortensen, P. B., & Dalsgaard, S. (2022). Temporal changes in sex‐ and age‐specific incidence profiles of mental disorders—A nationwide study from 1970 to 2016. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, acps.13410. https://doi.org/10.1111/acps.13410
  4. Schomerus, G., Schwahn, C., Holzinger, A., Corrigan, P. W., Grabe, H. J., Carta, M. G., & Angermeyer, M. C. (2012). Evolution of public attitudes about mental illness: A systematic review and meta-analysis: Evolution of public attitudes. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica125(6), 440–452. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01826.x
    Angermeyer, M. C., Matschinger, H., & Schomerus, G. (2013). Attitudes towards psychiatric treatment and people with mental illness: changes over two decades. The British Journal of Psychiatry203(2), 146-151.
  5. While 0.4% of children and adolescents were in contact with a psychiatric department in 2001, that figure was 3.3% in 2018. The Danish Health Data Authority. (2019) Key numbers about health care in Denmark (in Danish). https://sundhedsdatastyrelsen.dk/da/tal-og-analyser/analyser-og-rapporter/sundhedsvaesenet/noegletal-om-sundhedsvaesenet
    ​​Schmidt, M., Schmidt, S. A. J., Adelborg, K., Sundbøll, J., Laugesen, K., Ehrenstein, V., & Sørensen, H. T. (2019). The Danish health care system and epidemiological research: From health care contacts to database records. Clinical EpidemiologyVolume 11, 563–591. https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S179083
  6. Babatunde, G. B., van Rensburg, A. J., Bhana, A., & Petersen, I. (2021). Barriers and Facilitators to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries: A Scoping Review. Global Social Welfare8(1), 29–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40609-019-00158-z
    Kieling, C., Baker-Henningham, H., Belfer, M., Conti, G., Ertem, I., Omigbodun, O., Rohde, L. A., Srinath, S., Ulkuer, N., & Rahman, A. (2011). Child and adolescent mental health worldwide: Evidence for action. The Lancet378(9801), 1515–1525. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60827-1

Mental Health Recovery: Healing the Entire Body

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Along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, drug therapy where necessary, Pet Therapy, and a few other disciplines mentioned in earlier posts, there are others which benefit the individual recovering from mental health difficulties.  The therapist can suggest them during stages of the recovery process to bring maximum outcomes.

Acupuncture A licensed practitioner inserts needles in various points in the body to give relief to the individual from aches brought on from mental health problems.

Exercise Fitness routines are so important for members of the general population to engage in, and particularly individuals with mental health difficulties.  Exercising allows them to look outward instead of focusing on psychological issues.  Additionally, endorphins (a group of neurotransmitters) are released throughout the body during fitness routines.  The individual is now placed in a calmer, happier frame of mind.

Massage Therapy A lower body immune system can result from lengthy mental health problems.  This particular discipline removes the agonizing tension by a licensed practitioner manipulating the deep layers of the muscles and connective tissue, giving a sharp boost to the immune system.

Positive Psychology It can be devastating news when a person is diagnosed with a mental health issue, and result with a loss of self-esteem.  This discipline assists in returning self-worth, joy, continuation of goals, and has the individual living instead of merely existing. Positive Psychology doesn’t ignore the medical condition, but primarily focuses attention on the individual’s fine qualities. As a result, the individual will understand that they are still a good parent, spouse, neighbor, friend, son, daughter, nephew, aunt, grandparent, uncle, and excel in their profession.  The individual will also learn that even though they have a medical condition, they should never define themselves by their condition.

Positive Relationships Everyone should be involved in positive relationships.  For the individual experiencing mental health problems, it’s so vitally important that relationships are positive with family, friends, employers, and co-workers.  As a result, the therapist may inform them that negative relationships were contributing factors in the medical condition.

There are various ethically-approved disciplines available for the individual experiencing mental health challenges. They can experience a life of fulfillment with many wonderful opportunities awaiting them.

Vikki

Panic Attacks

images panic attack 7

One of the numerous Anxiety Disorders is the panic attack, and this medical condition can overtake an individual in any given situation.  Once an individual has had their initial attack, they’re automatically conditioned to have more of them.  The following scenario is an example of what occurs for members of this population.

They’re driving taking the same routes they always have on the way to work, pick up the children, visit relatives and friends, or shop at the mall.  Suddenly, a sensation of an alarm goes off inside their head.  It’s a feeling of doom, death, and loss of control. Physiological reactions begin with clammy hands on the steering wheel, and a tight grip on the wheel for dear life. Perspiration appears on the forehead, upper lip. Their heart is beating rapidly, and entire body is trembling.  They believe they’re having a heart attack, and pull over to the side of the road to collect themselves.

Panic attacks occur because of biological predisposition, learned behavior (i.e., catastrophizing), the individual was subjected to a tremendous amount of stress the prior year before the panic attacks began, or an abnormality in the brain.  Also, this medical difficulty can result from positive events (i.e., getting married, new employer, childbirth, purchasing a residence, etc.).

Panic attacks can be treated successfully (after the physician has ruled out a heart condition) with relaxation methods (i.e., yoga, meditation), psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and a temporary low-dosage drug therapy.

Vikki