Here at Spurwink, treating depression is common. In fact, depression is common – approximately 18.8 million American adults suffer from it, or about 1 in every 10 people. It is a serious clinical illness and unfortunately something that some people accept as part of everyday life. In fact, 2/3 of people with depression do not get treated.
Depression has many faces and is more than feeling sad. The sadness is intense and most often experienced with other behaviors. Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness.
It often looks different in different people. Some people think and plan about suicide. For others, untreated depression can result self-medicating via alcoholism and drug abuse. Common symptoms include overeating, losing one’s appetite, insomnia or sleeping too much. More stereotypical signs include withdrawal and isolation from friends and family, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviors, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. Depression may also cause irritability, loss of energy or difficulty concentrating.
At Spurwink, we treat the various of symptoms of depression every day. We stay connected with our clients in multiple areas of their lives. Treatment may include
- Supporting residential clients to participate in more exercise
- Teaching individuals with Autism social skills so they can make friends and reduce isolation
- Connecting case management clients with a counselor
- Talking with parents about the importance of a regular sleep schedule and the effects of poor nutrition on a child’s mood
The good news? Depression is treatable. It may not feel that way when you are in the midst of its grip, but it is possible. Behavioral and mental health professionals understand depression’s pain and know how to treat it.
Every year, the U.S. Government designates October as National Depression Education & Awareness Month. This month is a time to be courageous about seeking help for your or a loved one’s depression.
How can we all note National Depression Month? Recognize it. Understand it. Get screened for it by your doctor or a mental/behavioral health provider. Help someone you know reach out for help. Spurwink’s LINK line (1-888-889-3903) is a place to start.
by Christina Fay, LCSW, LADC, CCS
Clinical Coordinator, Spurwink