Today, February 20th, 2015 over 1000 bloggers join forces to talk about compassion. Each of us have selected a topic that we feel passionate about and have written about it. Today I am speaking to each of you about compassion and depression.
Facts & Statistics
Did You Know?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,60(7), July 1999).
More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.
People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
It is important to me that as a society we understand just how common anxiety and depression are in our human population. People who suffer from this illness can vary from slight to intense daily challenges. Some people learn and adapt around their illness to accommodate their daily base needs, while others are like deer in headlights, unable to work around a debilitating set of complex issues.
Seeking professional assistance is not as easy for some as it may appear. This is not just due to the stigma that still seems to plague our society but also due to a lack of well-qualified resources for help.
In my town, which is a state capital, although by no means a big city, we find it difficult to locate good medical doctors, let alone good mental health professionals. There is a defined gap as well in locating mental health resources for some, such as teens and young adults.
While I am compassionate toward those who work in the mental health care field, as I understand it is a challenging profession, and has come a very long way in its time, I am more compassionate toward those who need help, and are falling through the cracks.
Once someone is diagnosed with a mental disorder, it is not a quick fix. It can become an onslaught of prescribed medications, which may or may not work. A course of trail and error ensues until the perfect mixture is achieved, and in the mean time the individual suffering from anxiety or depression may feel much worse than when the started. This does not even touch upon the fact that these medications are very expensive, even with good insurance they can cost a lot, depending on what you are prescribed.
It is no wonder so many people opt for self medication and why we have so many cases of suicide.
I am asking for my readers to speak knowledge, and talk about compassion toward those who suffer from this illness, this disease.
Not only are anexity and depression difficult enough to handle in the course of one’s day to day life but having one or both of these illness can also bring out a lot of other issues in the human body such as:
Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders.
Read on to learn more about the co-occurrence of anxiety and these disorders:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Adult ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactive disorder)
BDD (body dysmorphic disorder)
(from From http://www.adaa.org/)
Could you imagine having daily boughs of anxiety and or depression and trying to find or hold a job, attend college, raise a family? Could you imagine growing up not knowing why you are “different” or what is wrong with you? Depression is no different from any other disease. It affects the human as a whole, mind, body, and spirit.
Please, as you go through your daily life, especially if you are a mentally and physically well person, take time to think when speaking to others, especially if they are new in your life. Perhaps their behavior is not what they would wish for it to be. Perhaps they do not present their best foot forward upon first introductions. People with this disease also need jobs, need support, need understanding. They can be very productive people, very diligent, and caring parents, employees, and friends.
Offer support where you can, assistance when you are able, and always offer your compassion.
How we will crush depression stigma:
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Thank you all for reading about something close to my heart and helping in any way that you can from donations to simply looking at depression in a different light.