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

The Status Of Mental Health In America, The Reality Of It All

Mental Health America (2021) offers data covering extensive topics about mental health in the United States:

Charts separated by youth and adult demographics;

Illness type;

Whether treatment was sought;

If treatment was sought, was it too costly?;

Did insurance have an illness and treatment specificity that was uncovered?;

Were patients lacking insurance, altogether?;

Rankings for these demographics that were reported by each state, and other informative data worth a comprehensive reading in, “The State Of Mental Health In America. Statistics 2021” View All Data 2021 | Mental Health America (mhanational.org) (Mental Health America, 2021).

Vikki

Reference

Mental Health America. (2021). The State Of Mental Health In America. Statistics 2021. Retrieved From View All Data 2021 | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)

The Youth Population, Avoiding A Wasteful Life

Members of this community have to learn they are standing on the shoulders of ancestors:

  • Who fought the good fight
  • For peace
  • A civilized society
  • Respect
  • A positive future for descendants

These are words taught me and peers coming up during younger times in our households, and throughout K-12.  Parents and teachers drilled these beliefs into our heads.  Thus, we never took anything for granted.  A strong reverence for those ancestors.

Young people have to live meaningful lives instead of throwing it away on illegal drug usage, violence, and other unhealthy behaviors which can result in mental health difficulties and prison.

But what if they lack positive role models in their homes (i.e., parents/caregivers are deceased, incarcerated, or unavailable because of other factors)?

Young people should look to those they admire and trust:

  • A relative outside of home
  • Friend’s parent
  • Teacher
  • Neighbor
  • Social worker

AND confirm these individuals are worthy of their admiration and trust.

A few words to offer as young people pursue those meaningful lives:

  • Make self-respect a close friend
  • Intellect your strongest weapon
  • Be your unique selves

Vikki