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Depression & Mental Health
Transcript of Depression & Mental Health
Although causes of depression are likely to vary between person to person, there are some similarities between most individuals. Depression is the result of chemical, neurological imbalance in the brain, which can be caused by certain factors.
1. Loneliness and feelings of isolation
2. Lack of social support
3. Recent stress in life (ie. death of family, loosing job)
4. Family history of depression
5. Relationship problems
6. Financial strain
7. Childhood abuse/trauma
8. Alcohol/drug abuse
9. Poor health and chronic pain
10. Unemployment or underemployment
11. Very poor diet for long time
Signs & Symptoms
Treatment & Care
Depression & Family
Private Organization & Government Aid
1. Mood Disorders Association of BC
has free weekly drop-in support groups over 40 locations in British Columbia to offer support, understanding and treatment.
2. Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
contains programs like the self-guided
Bounce Back Program
for mild and moderate depression with telephone coaching.
Living Life to the Fullest
is an eight week course for more active and intimate progression.
3. BC Partners for mental Health and Addictions
provides personal stories on beating depression as well as providing methods for different age groups on handling depression. The website provides tips on how to recognize depression and when medicine may be necessary.
4. Health Link BC
is a government run organization. The website provides tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They are also linked to an emergency phone service; call 8-11 for a nurse or pharmacist emergencies 24h/day.
5. Crisis Line
s (call 310-6789, no area code) for 24h/day mental health/ suicide hot line for anonymous help from trained members from BC Partners for Mental Health & Addictions.
There are typically 10 major signs that can indicate depression:
1. Unexplained Pains and Aches:
Pains are common especially in the head, back, muscles, stomach.
. Reckless Behavior:
Reckless behaviour includes substance abuse, driving carelessly and dangerous sports.
3. Low Energy:
Abnormally low energy feels like fatigue, being physically drained by simple activities and the body feels heavy.
4. Changes in Sleep Pattern:
These changes can include insomnia, or hypersomnia (oversleeping).
5. Loss of Interest in Activities:
This means a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, hobbies and pastimes.
6. Helpless and Hopeless Life Outlook
: Believing that there is no reason to live is a common symptom.
7. Appetite and Significant Weight Changes
8. Anger and Irritability:
Depressed people usually displays low tolerance and short temper.
Self-loathing includes extreme amounts of self-criticism.
10. Concentration Problems:
Problems often include trouble focusing, making decisions, or memory problems.
Depression & Mental Health
Planning Online, Ms. Matson
History & Myths
Author Unknown (Date Unknown)
Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs
. [Web] Retrieved: 05/22/14, from: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm/.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown)
[Web] Retrieved: 05/22/14, from: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/depression/Pages/default.aspx.
Grohol, John M. (2009).
7 Myths of Depression
. [Web] Retrieved: 05/22/14, from: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/10/18/7-myths-of-depression/.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown)
[Web] Retrieved: 05/25/14, from:
Smith, Michael W. (2014). Sideshow
: Myths and Facts about Depression.
[Web] Retrieved: 05/26/14, from: http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-myths.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown)
Preventing Relapse of Depression.
[Web] Retrieved: 05/26/14, from: http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/preventing-relapse-of-depression.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown).
Types of Antidepressants and Their Side Effects
. [Web] Retrieved: 05/27/14, from: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/types_of_antidepressants.htm.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown).
[Web] Retrieved: 02/25/14, from: http://www.canmat.org/di-depression-treatment-ipt.php.
Author Unknown (Date Unknown).
[Web] Retrieved: 05/25/14, from:
Grohol, John (June 2009). Depression Gene Refuted. Psych Central [Article] Retrieved: 02/22/14, from: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/06/16/depression-gene-refuted/6590.html.
Nemade, Rashmi (Sept, 2007). Historical Understandings of Depression. MentalHealth.Net [Article] Retrieved: 02/23/14, from: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=12995.
Smith, Rebecca. Depression as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, U.K. study says. National Post [Article] Retrieved: 05/23/14, from: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/22/depression-as-deadly-as-smoking-a-pack-of-cigarettes-a-day-u-k-study-says/.
Author Unknown (May 2014). Elderly Sardinians less depressed than other seniors, study says. CBC News. Retrieved: 05/22/14, from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/elderly-sardinians-less-depressed-than-other-seniors-study-says-1.2652601.
Craggs, Samantha (May 2014). Why researchers think the gut holds the key to depression. CBC News. Retrieved: 05/22/14, from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/why-researchers-think-the-gut-holds-the-key-to-depression-1.2642007.
Leupo, Kimberly. (Doctor Tending to Patient). [Image] Toddler Times (Date Unknown). Retrieved: 05/25/14, from: http://www.toddlertime.com/advocacy/hospitals/Asylum/history-asylum.htm.
Photographer Unknown (Father Hugging Child). [Image] Health Doctrine (Date Unknown). Retrieved: 05/23/14, from: http://healthdoctrine.com/parenting-and-depression/.
Corbis Photography (Green and White Prozac Pills) [Image] Daily Mail (July 2013) Retrieved: 05/23/14, from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2356902/Prozac-Nation-Use-antidepressants-UK-soared-500-past-20-years.html.
Photographer Unknown (Therapy with Two Woman). [Image] Alta Mira Recovery Programs (Date Unknown). Retrieved: 02/20/14, from: http://www.altamirarecovery.com/rehab-co-occurring-disorders/depression/.
Shah, Abhishek. Depression Myths and Facts. [Image] Slide share (July 2013) Retrieved: 05/27/14, from: http://www.slideshare.net/abhishekshah/depression-myths-and-facts.
Photographer Unknown (Doctor Talking to Girl) [Image] HelpGuide.org (Date Unknown). Retrieved: 05/26/14, from: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/treatment_strategies_depression.htm.
Therapy Tribe. What is Depression? [Image] Therapy Tribe (Date Unknown) Retrieved: 05/27/14, from: http://www.therapytribe.com/therapy/depression_treatment_help_counseling.html.
Tko, Tonya. Exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant. [Image] Tonyatko.com (March 2013) Retrieved: 05/25/14, from: http://tonyatko.com/exercise-antidepressan/.
Photographer Unknown (Couple Staring at Paper) [Image] SpotOn List (2013) Retrieved: 05/26/14, from: http://spotonlists.com/bizarre/top-10-common-reasons-for-divorce-in-couples/.
Photographer Unknown (Basket of Vegetables) [Image] Summerville Family Health Team (2014) Retrieved: 05/25/14, from: http://summervillefht.com/displayPage.php?page=infoHealthyEating.
Photographer Unknown (Depressed vs. not depressed Brain) [Image] Wed MD. Retrieved: 05/25/14, from: http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-overview.
severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being
condition or feeling that shows sorrow; unhappiness
a neurotransmitter that is interconnected with depression, memory, sleep patterns and living processes.
A group of hormones that bind to receptors in the brain. It commonly reduces the feelings of pain and can change emotions.
Questions to ask yourself.
1. Am I getting the appropriate amount of sleep? (8hours for adults, 8.5 hours for teens, 10.5 hours for children)
2. Do you find yourself loosing focus or find simple tasks hard?
3. Do you feel alone and helpless?
4. Do you have trouble controlling your negative thoughts?
5. Have you noticed any major appetite changes (not eating enough or eating too much)?
6. Are you feeling annoyed by other people and find yourself getting angry quickly?
7. Are you consuming more alcohol than normal?
8. Do you think your life is worth living?
History of Mental Illnesses
Mesopotamia was one of the first civilizations to have recorded cases of depression (although they didn't understand mental illnesses); it was called "melancholia" rather. Melancholia was initially believed to be caused by possession of a demon and was cured by priests for spiritual needs.
A Greek writer recorded a king had gone mad due to evil spirits in his brain. Ancient Chinese and Egyptians tried to rid the demon by beating, restraining and starving their patients. The Romans and Greeks believed that it was a biological and psychological disease that can be treated with massages, special diets, music and bathing with donkey milk.
In Persia, the physicians believed bathing therapy and behaviourial therapy (rewarding good behaviour) could cure the patient.
Anatomy of Melancholy
was written by Robert Burton with a greater understanding of depression as a mental disorder. He suggested many modern treatments to cure depression.
During the Enlightenment Period, Europeans believed that depression was due to inherited mental instability. Patients were
shunned and sent to institutions.
Myths & Facts
Myth 1: Depression is for the weak.
-Fact: Depression can affect anyone: rich and poor or strong and weak
Myth 2: Depression is a disease that can be treated like the flu.
-Fact: depression is a mental disorder that does require emotional/ physical treatments to get over it.
Myth 3: Depression is just being sad.
-Fact: Sadness can be cured with time and willpower, while depression is an overwhelming hopelessness over an extended period of time. It requires support from family, friends and possibly trained professionals.
Myth 4: Depression is all hereditary.
-Fact: Family genetics only increase the likelihood by 10-15%. Coping methods depend on development during childhood.
Myth 5: Hard work cures depression.
-Fact: Overworking could be a sign of depression.
Myth 6: Depression means "happy pills."
-Fact: Depression requires a variety of treatment including therapy; medication is just an option, usually as a last choice.
Myth 7: Depressed people cry all the time.
-Fact: Everybody handles depression differently. Some people with mental health problems don't cry at all; they may feel emotionally blank.
Myth 8: Teens are naturally depressed.
-Fact: Although teens have a tenancy to have mood swings, prolonged sadness (2 weeks) is considered abnormal and parents should take notice at this point.
Myth 9: Depression is a just reaction due to a sad situation.
-Fact: This is only true for some people; it is common for people to feel depressed when everything is going right.
Myth 10: Depression is temporary and will leave naturally.
-Fact: It is a medical condition that requires support and treatment. Leaving it untreated could make it worse.
No such thing as a Depression Gene!
A study was conducted in 2003 with over 14 000 patients regarding the relationship with depression and genetics. The researchers found that genetics were linked to levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) that increases the likelihood of depression.
Between 2003-2009, researchers re-analyzed and took new data, which resulted in finding a stronger connection between depression and tough life events, rather than genetics. Although there still is a miniscule connection between genetics and depression, the risk is weighted on environmental factors.
Source: National Institute of Metal Health, 2009
Foods that Cause Depression
Within moderation, these foods aren't harmful and may even be necessary to sustain daily life. But a large excess proves mentally taxing (especially if the body isn't used to it).
Refined Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners
: Consuming large amounts of refined sugar creates a 20 minute energy rush because it reacts with an enzyme called typrophan. After those 20 minutes, glucose levels in blood plummet, which drops our mood. Aspartame blocks neurotransmitters and is responsible for causing dips in mood, headaches and problems sleeping.
Saturated Fat & Hydrogenated Oils:
Fats and oils clog arteries, preventing oxygenated blood that goes to the brain; blood is necessary to stimulate chemicals for happiness.
An excess of salt disrupts our brain chemicals, which can affect our immune system and cause fatigue. Salt leads to bloating and dehydration.
Depression is a mental illness that can either have obvious signs or not affect the family at all. However, most times family members are able to detect usual signs that could indicate depression. It is the family's responsibility to ensure that their family is appropriately taken care of. This is what the family can do to help:
: Before family members can attempt to help, they have to ensure that they understand that depression only affects everyone around them and that it requires patience.
: The family should understand the cause depression and that it could be rooted in the household.
3. Work Together
: A person why has depression should feel comfortable and not alone. The family should work collectively to tackle any obstacles.
4. Don't Hold Blame
: Nobody should be blamed for depression in order for it to be solved. Every member of the family is responsible for helping deal with depression.
5. Set Goals
: With an understanding of the symptoms that can be addressed with priorities with realistic goals on improvement.
6. Communicate and Negotiate:
Make sure to address the needs of the entire family and speak up. Refer to books or articles with tips to handle anger and being patient. Counseling can help families communicate effectively.
7. Stay Active
: Active people are more motivated and have positive benefits. Join a class or get a gym membership. Be sure to participate with the family.
8. Be Social
: Find a support group for friends and family to help cope with depression. It is a good way to avoid reoccurring depression to help manage the household needs.
Depression in the Family
Depression can affect anyone during any period of their life and symptoms can differ.
: Men are less likely to acknowledge self-loathing and hopeless feelings. They may complain about irritability, insomnia and loss of interest in their work. Men have 4x the risk of suicide that woman do and are more likely to develop negative feelings.
Females are twice as likely to suffer from depression due to hormones. Plus, women are more likely to pronounce feelings of guilt, have sleeping problems, overreact to certain situations and gain weight. Woman are likely to feel depressed after giving birth due to overwhelming changes in her life (called postnatal depression).
: Although teenagers can sometimes be moody, their symptoms include hostility, grumpy feelings for an extended period of time and a short temper. They may also have unexplained aches and pains. Teens experimenting with their sexuality are at a higher risk of depression.
: The signs are pretty obvious in children because they project their feelings. Children may refuse to go to school or have trouble with schoolwork. They may cling to a parent.
: It is usually less common in seniors, but harder to recognize. Typically, depression is a result of a loss of a spouse or loosing friends.
Depression is Deadly!
Researchers in Oxford University have found that depression is just as deadly as smoking!
Approximately 1 in 5 people in the U.K. smoke, while 1 in 4 people have suffered from a mental health problem.
Furthermore, smokers who go through almost a pack of cigarettes each day, loose 8 - 10 years of their life. Those with bipolar syndrome loose 8 -20 years of their life, depending on severity. And people with reoccurring depression, 7 - 24 years!
National Post, May 2014
Families who have a recently born child in their household are at risk for postnatal depression.
A recent study in Australia has shown that within 18 months of birth, woman have the highest risk of depression, while Norwegian studies suggest within 12 months. However, ome untested variables include financial instability or an abusive family member.
Parents are more likely to suffer from depression that couples without children. Fathers are also at risk with a 21% risk of depression-like episodes (compared to 39% for woman).
Other studies suggest that parents are never really immune to depression and that their children will always cause them some trouble with mental health.
The Guardian, May 2014
Depression Treatment in the Stomach?
Researchers in Hamilton are studying the link between the stomach and the brain with regards to mental health. The brain response to the neurotransmitters propagating from the stomach is stronger than its response to other body parts.
The results suggest that the gut may be sending messages to certain bodily bacteria having anti-depression as well as anti-anxiety qualities.
Although researchers are currently unsure what exactly decreases the risk, researchers have seen positive trends in anti-depression diets. Quite possibly gastrointestinal medications may help relieve some depression symptoms.
Source: CBC News May 2014
Conditions that affect Depression in Seniors
A study was conducted in Sardinia, Italy, famous for it's long life expectancy. Studies were conducted with seniors of different ages, genders and place of living. Scientist note that these seniors were well off, with access to medical attention. Using 191 healthy native Italians between 60- 99, research proves that social and physically active seniors feel more respected and engaged with the younger generations.
The results were: woman suffered from depression more than men, seniors in cities had more mental health problems over those in rural areas and older people (ages 75-99) experienced depression more than those 60-84 years.
CBC News, May 2014
: Exercise elevates good levels of serotonin and stimulates endorphins while allowing new brain cells to grow neurological connections, similar to what antidepressants do. Even quick sessions can be beneficial.
: Healthy balanced meals prevent mood dips and sustain both mental as well as physical balance.
The hours of sleep we get greatly affects mood. Lack of sleep means irritable mood, sadness and fatigue. Getting about 8 or more hours of sleep maintains good energy levels and happiness.
4. Social Support
: Having strong bonds with friends reduces isolated feelings and prevents feelings that there is nobody who understands you.
5. Stress Reduction
: Stress sometimes leads to depression so reducing it means a reduction of the chance of a relapse.
Medication helps the neurological chemical balance as well as relieving some of the smaller symptoms as it doesn't cure the problem, but covers it up. Therapy and treatment should accompany the medication.
A family doctor is a good place to start taking medication. A doctor will be able to manage and balance other treatments with medication; doctors can also make referrals for medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors): Prozac, Luvox, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and Celexa. Most medications come with side affects and should only be taken under a doctor's order.
1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
: Although negative feelings can be common for people with depression, sometimes these feelings are thought unconsciously. Cognative Behavioural Therapy helps us become aware of these attitudes, how we perceive ourselves and how we can fix these ill feelings. This therapy helps reward good behaviour and discourage poor thoughts to help beat depression.
2. Interpersonal Psychotherapy
: This therapy is for depression caused between a poor relationship. Interpersonal therapy not only helps with depression coping, but it also helps the members of the relationship to deal with all conflicts.
Each case of depression is different and should be treated as separate cases. Different treatments or combinations, including therapy, lifestyle changes and medications, may prove beneficial.