It is important to take care of each other. It is necessary for humanity, community and belonging. Moreover, it is human nature to care.
Unfortunately, we can be reluctant or even feel guilty about asking for help when we need it. We’ve all seen it happen. Hesitation is especially common when someone is experiencing mental health challenges.
Despite intense educational campaigns to sow the seeds of compassion in recent decades, mental illness remains so stigmatized that many choose to suffer in solitude. , its hesitation and other signs that stigma is an obstacle to recovery should be noted.
Now let’s go to the same page about depression.
Major depressive disorder is characterized by depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite or weight, altered sleep patterns, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and, in severe cases, recurrent characterized by the idea of death.
Studies show that nearly 10% of American adults experience a major depressive episode each year, and 20% experience a depressive episode at some point in their lives. Some people experience symptoms of depression without meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder. Symptoms include feeling constantly depressed for several days, being overly tired, withdrawing from family and friends, and having difficulty at school or work.
In some cases, some people try to self-medicate their symptoms using alcohol or drugs. Not only is that approach unlikely to help, it can make symptoms worse.
Genuine concern and kindness from others can help people feel better and recover faster. If your friend or loved one seems different, withdrawn or sad, ask them in a kind and supportive way. Ask open-ended questions such as “How are you feeling today?” or “How are you?” Be ready to listen and offer support. If it is clear that you need help, ensure that there is an effective treatment.
Health care providers such as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional clinical counselors offer conversation-based psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Treatment can be delivered in a traditional office or through video conferencing. In some cases, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses may prescribe antidepressants and other drugs.
While some people with depression may need professional help, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better and reduce the likelihood of severe symptoms. Some simple strategies include maintaining a regular sleep and eating schedule, staying active, engaging in enjoyable hobbies, and maintaining relationships with close friends and family. If that sounds like you, doing just one small activity each day can boost your mood and energy levels.
Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), a division of County Health and Human Services, provides outpatient management, Offers psychiatric and psychotherapy. It also provides crisis intervention services to all Marine residents regardless of insurance status. This includes the field-based Mobile Crisis Response Team and Crisis Stabilization Unit at MarinHealth Medical Center’s Greenbrae campus.
Help spread the word that there are services available to keep everyone safe and healthy. To access emergency services, dial 988 on the crisis text line at 741741, text “MARIN” to call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline, or visit 988lifeline.org. To access outpatient mental health and substance use services through BHRS, call the 24-hour confidential access line at (888) 818-1115. Information about BHRS can also be found at marinbhrs.org.
It feels good to help someone in need. Let’s emphasize the “happiness” of Happy New Year.
Dr. Todd Schirmer is Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.