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10/20/2022 – “Depression Education and Awareness Month” By Kaylee McGrath

National Depression Education and Awareness Month takes place during October of each year. Depression is a widespread mental health condition that affects millions of Americans and people around the world. Often, depression goes unnoticed and/or untreated, which only leads to worsening symptoms. Many events can lead to depression, events that people face every day, so if you or anyone you know are suffering from depression, it's important to know that you’re not alone and help is available. Unfortunately, because of a stigma associated with depression, sometimes a person with depression may feel like they cannot talk about or seek treatment. This is the main reason why it is so important to have a health awareness for depression, to have open discussion on this mental health condition and learn about symptoms, what life events can cause depression, and what some treatment methods are.

There are a variety of experiences and events that can lead to depression, in many cases a person may not be able to identify exactly what caused it or when it started. Some individuals recognize that they are not feeling like themselves, or maybe a loved one notices first.

For myself, I am open about this subject and currently being treated for depression and anxiety and happy to report my therapist is helping me.

Some Common Causes of Depression Can Include:

• Losing a Loved One - Grief after the loss of a loved one, although a natural part of life, can increase the risk of mental health conditions like depression

• Experiencing Trauma of Abuse - Any form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse

• Ongoing Illness - Depression can happen alongside with a serious illness, or even be triggered by another medical condition.

• Substance Misuse - People who have substance abuse issues can also suffer from depression, and although substances can feel like they are helping, they typically make the individual go deeper into depression.

• Sudden Life Changes - Sudden life changes, whether they are good or bad lead to depression. This includes unseeingly positive events like graduating college, starting a new job, or getting married for example.

• Traumatic Childhood Experiences - Traumatic experiences in childhood have been linked to depression, some examples include divorce of parents, moving frequently, abuse, etc.

Various Common Symptoms of Depression

• Feelings of anxiety or sadness

• Eating more or less than usual, having no appetite

• Hard time falling asleep and staying asleep

• Experiencing a lot of pains and aches, headaches, stomach pains

• Loss of interest in hobbies and social activities

• Feelings restless, irritable, or easily frustrated

• Feeling tired, even when well rested

• Thoughts about and feeling helpless, worthless, guilty

• Thinking of self-harm or suicide

How To Observe National Depression Education and Awareness Month

Reach Out

• One of the best ways to observe this holiday is to reach out to friends, family, and those in your community. A listening ear, a comforting hug, empathy, and asking questions while withholding judgment can go a long way to comfort others.

Share Your Story

• Don’t be afraid to tell those who are struggling about your own experiences with depression. Depression is extremely common, and helping others know they are not alone can be very encouraging.

Educate Yourself

• One of the best ways you can help yourself (and those around you) is to learn about common symptoms and effects of depression. The more you know, the better you can recognize when someone may need your love and support.

Source of Information: Various Google Searches

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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