Depression

I’m Depressed – Does That Mean I Have A Disablility?

Mental wellness is a major problem. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance says that nearly 15 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. A study from the World Health Organization calls depression a leading cause of disability, affecting nearly 300 million people of all ages around the world.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Everyone feels miserable or worried occasionally, but depression is more than a momentary case of “the blues.” Depression is a mood disorder resulting in a constant feeling of loss of interest and sadness. Officially called clinical depression or major depressive disorder, it alters your feelings, thoughts, and behavior and can lead to several physical and emotional problems. There is no cure for depression, but its symptoms can be treated with psychotherapy or drugs including ketamine.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

Like other mental health illnesses, depression is characterized by many symptoms – some easy to identify, others more subtle which sometimes get taken for granted. You may only be depressed once in your life, but most people normally experience multiple episodes. During these times, symptoms happen most of the day, almost every day and can include:

  • Feelings of tearfulness, emptiness, sadness, or hopelessness
  • Being angry, irritable, or frustrated, even over trivial matters
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in nearly all normal activities, like intimate relations, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep problems like insomnia or sleeping more than normal
  • Fatigue and loss of energy, so even small chores require extra effort
  • Loss of appetite and weight or a bigger appetite (binge eating) and weight gain
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or agitation
  • Slowed thought, speech, or body movements
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or obsession with self-blame or past failures
  • You can’t think straight or concentrate
  • Trouble with remembering things and making decisions
  • Frequent or constant thoughts of death, suicide attempts, or suicidal thoughts
  • Inexplicable physical discomfort, such as headaches or back pain
  • For many people, the symptoms of depression are usually severe enough to be noticeable day-to-day, interfering with school, social activities, work, or interpersonal relationships.

WHAT IS A DISABILITY?

Even with all the pain and suffering it causes, depression isn’t considered a disability by most people. The World Health Organization defines a disability as any condition of the mind or body (“impairment”) that makes it harder for the person experiencing the condition to participate in certain activities (“activity limitation”) and intermingle with society around them (“participation restrictions”).
These “disability dimensions” are defined by the World Health Organization as follows:

  • Impairment of a person’s mental functioning like memory loss, or body structure or function such as loss of a limb, or loss of vision.
  • Activity limitation, including trouble hearing, walking, seeing, or problem-solving.
  • Participation restrictions in typical daily activities, including working, participating in recreational and social activities, and getting preventive and health care services.

I’M DEPRESSED – DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE A DISABILITY?

If you’re unable to function – to be employed, manage your day-to-day responsibilities – then you may be disabled, but it’s a slippery slope from a legal standpoint. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as any mental or physical impairment that interferes with a key life activity. Your physical disabilities are normally easier to define, but mental disabilities are more challenging. Clinical depression is listed as a disability under the ADA, but even if you suffer from it, you may not be protected. Generally, the ADA is consulted on a case-by-case basis, but if you are depressed, get it documented.

CONDITIONS RELATED TO DEPRESSION

Depression might be caused by chronic illnesses, common medical conditions affecting your body’s regulatory systems, and even surgery. Studies show that physical ailments boost the likelihood of depressive illness, including these:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic pain, fibromyalgia
  • Hormone
  • HIV
  • Postpartum depression
  • Cancer

People battling depression may also have problems with substance abuse. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America According reports that nearly 20 percent of Americans with a mental health disorder also suffer from substance abuse, and 20 percent experiencing a substance abuse disorder also suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder.
Depression symptoms can happen or be triggered by these psychiatric disorders:

  • ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic and other anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder

FINAL THOUGHTS

Depression is clinically diagnosed by a mental health professional following a physical exam by a medical doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed, your therapist or doctor will talk about treatment options that are suitable for your condition and symptoms. The recommendation could be psychotherapy or drugs, or a combination of both. Ketamine, once used solely as a pre-surgical anesthetic, is believed to treat symptoms of depression rapidly versus the typical weeks it may take a regular antidepressant to work.
If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat depression we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.

Depression

Ways To Decrease Depression Naturally

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of Americans have reported symptoms of depression since April – coinciding, of course, with the onset of COVID-19. But help is available.

ARE YOU DEPRESSED?

Your spouse says you might be depressed or a little on edge. Your co-worker, during a department meeting via Zoom, told you to “snap out of it.” But if you don’t know what depression is, how can you “snap out of it” without help?
The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers this succinct definition:

“Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”

HOW TO NOT BE DEPRESSED

If they’re not treated, symptoms of depression can be life-threatening, especially if they lead to physical health problems or even thoughts of suicide. Sadness and worry can pass on their own, but if they don’t, you may need professional help. Here are steps you can take on your own to not be depressed; some may work, others not so much – the point is trying.

Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly is a great way to tweak your mental health for the better. The Mayo Clinic says exercise is helpful in many ways:

  • Raises body temperature and calms the central nervous system.
  • Boosts positive moods by releasing chemicals like endorphins.
  • Restricts immune system chemicals that contribute to depression.

Dial back on social media

Cut back on your social media time for your own benefit:

  • Disable automatic mobile phone notifications of new Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts.
  • If you see a news item in a feed that interests you, never automatically assume it’s the truth.
  • Verify what you’re reading through multiple, respectable sources.
  • Avoid engaging in “spirited discussions” with online trolls.

Build a routine

  • Put an X through the current date on the calendar when you go to bed. Recognize the passage of time, so it doesn’t seem endless.
  • Try and go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Eat meals with the family.
  • Practice good personal hygiene habits.

Foster strong relationships

Stay connected with friends and family. Organize a virtual game night, or have lunch with a co-worker while practicing social distancing.

Don’t avoid the great outdoors

Physical distancing guidelines recommend staying home and keeping at least 6 feet of distance from other people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside near your home. That’s good news, because natural sunlight is known to reduce symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder or just the “blues” from being cooped up so long.

Simplify your daily choices

Little things can reduce stress levels:

  • Learn to make faster decisions.
  • Cut back on the volume of weekly decisions by preparing the week before. Try meal planning, or deciding which outfits you want to wear in advance.

Do something that makes you happy

Some people are happy with alone time – or at least they were pre-pandemic. Now, we’re all chomping at the bit to get outdoors, go to a restaurant or movie theatre, or just go shopping. We may not be able to do those things, yet, but you can still do things to make yourself happy and fight off depression:

  • Try DIY painting, sewing, or building projects.
  • Buy a new house plant.
  • Try a new cake recipe and add lavish decorations.
  • Buy an old fashioned crossword puzzle book.

Banish stress

Take little steps to reduce the stress in your life and, as a result, toss depression into the trash. Avoid over-commitment, practice meditation, be willing to let go of things you can’t control.

Respect where you live

Maybe the pandemic dashed your hopes or plans to move into a new home or relocate to another city for a new job, but that doesn’t mean you should let your current home go to pot. Clutter is a known stressor. Tidy up around your house each week, maintain yard chores, finally commit to that small home improvement goal you’ve had for years but never had time to work on – until now.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Depression, even in the midst of a global pandemic, doesn’t have to be a life sentence and isn’t anything to be ashamed about. It’s a mental health disorder that affects millions, regardless of gender or other socioeconomic factors. If you or a loved one are depressed, get help. Talk to a doctor or contact us today to learn more about treatment options, which may include psychotherapy or innovative new treatments like ketamine infusion therapy.

Depression

Manic Depression Symptoms

Kanye West. Selena Gomez. Nessa Barrett. The biggest benefit of being a celebrity right now is its power to bring to light an illness that typically is dismissed as moodiness. In this case, the illness is manic depression or bipolar disorder. Read further to learn more, and how it can be treated.

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?

If you experience tectonic shifts in your moods, from exhilarating highs to confidence crushing lows, and from bottom-of-the-barrel lows to being the “king of the world,” you may be suffering from bipolar disorder. Highs are episodes of mania, while lows are times of depression. The mood changes can blend, leaving you filled with depression and elation all at once.

But bipolar disorder affects everyone, not just celebrities. In fact, some estimates say that more than five million people in the U.S. live with some form of the illness. That is not a comforting statistic, but the numbers alone mean it is garnering attention. Today, studies indicate the symptoms can be managed with a combination of psychotherapy and drugs like ketamine, which affects the brain’s neurotransmitters.

MANIC DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are often divided into those for depression, and those for mania. Sometimes, they overlap.

Symptoms of mania

Mania itself is a power to be reckoned with, sometimes causing other symptoms, but normally identified by seven key signs:

  • You have feelings of being “high” or overly happy for unusually long periods of time
  • Your stamina appears unhuman, with your body needing less sleep
  • You talk like a speed reader, with your thoughts spewing out uncontrolled
  • You feel extremely impulsive or restless
  • You are easily distracted
  • You are overconfident in your abilities
  • You seem to enjoy risky behavior, like unprotected sex, gambling with your child’s college savings money, or otherwise ignoring your household budget and spending randomly

Symptoms of depression

  • You feel sad or hopeless for a long time
  • You withdraw from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • There has been a big change in your eating habits
  • You experience fatigue or low energy
  • You have trouble with concentration, memory, and decision making
  • You are preoccupied with suicide

WHAT CAUSES MANIC DEPRESSION?

Many healthcare providers will tell you there is no one cause for manic depression. It is more likely attributable to many factors that increase a person’s risk of suffering from the illness.

  • Almost predictably, the brains of some people with the disorder show differences compared to the brains of people who are not bipolar or who do not have any other mental illness. More knowledge about disparities may help scientists comprehend bipolar disorder and decide which treatments will work. As of now, healthcare providers arrive at diagnosis and treatment plans based on a patient’s history and symptoms, instead of diagnostic tests or brain imaging.
  • People with certain genetic markers. Research shows that people with a blood relative with bipolar disorder have a bigger chance of getting the illness. Many genes, not one, are involved. More knowledge about the role of genes in bipolar disorder could help researchers create new treatments.

HOW DO YOU GET DIAGNOSED?

Like other mental illnesses, manic depression is usually diagnosed in a doctor’s office and normally includes four components:

  • A physical exam conducted by a medical doctor or certified healthcare professional to rule out any medical issues causing the disorder.
  • A mental health evaluation conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other certified mental health professional. Your thoughts, feelings, and behavior problems will be discussed.
  • Reviewing your daily moods.
  • Using the DSM-5 to evaluate criteria for the disorder.

HOW IS MANIC DEPRESSION TREATED?

Normally, manic depression is treated with one or more kinds of therapy – psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy – which occurs over regular sessions, often for months or years. Once diagnosed, you and your mental healthcare provider can talk about treatment options, which could also include the use of medicine or alternative therapies.

DOES MEDICINE WORK?

In certain cases, a doctor may prescribe the use of mood stabilizers or antipsychotics to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder, but recent studies show a newer treatment option called ketamine infusion therapy works to improve functions within the glutamatergic system. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health “found that a single dose of ketamine produced rapid antidepressant effects in depressed patients with bipolar disorder.” The drug is dispensed through infusion therapy or as a nasal spray.

CONCLUSION

The main takeaway is that manic depression affects millions of people globally, but the symptoms can be managed. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine to help treat the symptoms of depression we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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