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

A Dangerous Mental Health Condition**

It has to be reiterated that most people diagnosed with a psychiatric illness pose no danger to others, or themselves. The majority of this population desire a well-adjusted mental health.  As positive as that reality is, we have to understand various causations in that small percentage who do become dangerous.  It’s an unpleasant subject many refuse to look at, with several media pundits unwilling to have honest discussions, talking around the issue as though if it’s left out of the conversation no one will notice.  However, until society does focus on “mental” instability and “dangerousness”, the world won’t see a reduction of this brand of criminality.  The following are several items which deserve analysis.*

  • Sudden Stoppage of Medication.  A lion pouncing on someone when it hasn’t eaten for a few days. It’s analogous to the patient who may become dangerous when they suddenly stop taking medication.  These pills are strong and take several weeks to gain traction to reduce symptoms associated with the condition.  Thus, it’s a shock to the brain when the medication is no longer in the system, which may result with the patient spinning out of control mentally.  If they wish to cease taking medication, they should inform the psychiatrist to gradually receive lesser dosages over a period of time, until they are no longer on the psychotropics.
  • Lack of Guardian.  Families have to take the initiative in getting a conservatorship when they believe a member is irresponsible in caring for their mental health.  The patient has to report to this guardian on a daily basis before proceeding with usual activities.  It’s a form of neglect, regardless the age of the patient, to allow them to enter society with an unprepared mental health.
  • Alcohol, Illegal Drugs p. 1.  A patient is setting themselves up for a mental thunderstorm when combining these substances with their mental health condition whether they’re using psychotropics, or not.
  • Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, p. 2.  The individual who begins with a healthy psychology, then starts abusing these substances, automatically has a mental illness, even if they don’t have schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other psychiatric conditions associated with a chemical breakdown from using drugs.
  • Lack of Positive Coping Mechanisms. This skill set is important for everyone, especially the patient who has to remember that disappointments are a part of life.
  • Ordinary Citizens. Failing to call the police when they observe someone they wholeheartedly believe may pose a danger to society.  Even if police can’t do anything: We have to wait until something actually happens, there’s a paper trail about the individual they can refer to.
  • Deep-Brain Injury.  An individual could begin with a healthy psychology, then experiences a deep-brain injury.  Not everyone in this category is dangerous, although some may result with a level of dangerousness (i.e., ASPD Level 2).  They have to be monitored on a regular basis with a host of evaluations because of personality changes.
  • A Blow to the Head, but not Deep-Brain Injury.  A patient may experience personality changes, temporarily, which have to be monitored on a regular basis with a host of evaluations.
  • Congenital Brain Malfunction. The individual has to be supervised on a regular basis by family (i.e., conservatorship), psychiatrists, and physicians.
  • The Lack of Workplace Personality Assessments.  The employer who refuses this instrument for the pre-employment screening could face unbelievable liability.
  • The Psychological Board. A compulsory standard Duty to Protect and Duty to Warn doctrines are required in all states and districts, instead of both doctrines in some regions, one or the other in separate regions, and the incredibly vague language nurturing confusion.
  • The Clinician.   If they fail in whatever current Duty to Protect/Duty to Warn responsibilities, they have created a series of events they will regret forever.
  • Police Officers.  Most are a community’s best friend!  They have incredible challenges which couldn’t have been recognized when joining the Police Force because of increased responsibilities.  An officer never wants to pull the trigger unless it’s absolutely necessary, and most never fire their guns.  They wish to return to their families at the end of an exhausting day.  However, if an officer fails to respond when the clinician informs them in their Duty to Warn capacity, they should turn in their badge and find a different area of employment.

Conclusion

A safer world becomes prevalent only when an honest dialogue about mental health begins, with additional entities becoming more involved, instead of believing it’s someone else’s problem.

*There are always unknown causations waiting to be discovered.

**Not every dangerous person has a mental illness.

 

Vikki