Now this is a topic very close to my heart and I suspect most of you know someone who has some form of mental illness. Or perhaps that person is you!
My story is more about my sister Simone who suffered severely with Mental Illness. She was only 33 years old with two young children when she sadly took her own life after years of torment and torture.
As much as I try to deliver value in my writing, you may find today’s blog is deepened by my own personal experience of loss. But as tragic as the death of a loved one is, turning a tragedy in to triumph through blogging and sharing resources, renews my sense of optimism and hope for those traveling on this particularly difficult path! I say difficult because although Mental Illness can be unpredictable, volatile, all-consuming and debilitating, there is the added burden of the societal stigma that sufferers are also weighed down by.
As a society we tend to be more open and supportive when it comes to physical disease such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes to name a few. But Mental Health seems to be shrouded in secrecy and shame that people are less willing to treat and talk about.
There are several factors that contribute to the group of signs and symptoms we call “Depression. These can include diet, sleep, emotions , stress, biochemistry and a long list of other contributors. My recommendations are designed to support depression that may have dietary or nutrient deficiencies as a possible root cause or contributor.
Of course I ONLY align myself with high quality pharmaceutical grade products that I either use myself or would happily recommend to friends and family.
Why Pharmaceutical Grade?
Because Pharmaceutical Grade means 99% PURE! No binders, fillers, dyes, excipients or other unknown substances that may be detrimental to your health. Pharmaceutical Grade are quality dietary supplements that efficiently deliver nutrients your body can easily absorb and utilise, in other words nutrients that are more bioavailable.
As I alluded to earlier, depression is a very common disease and growing at an alarming rate.1 in 10 people are reported to suffer from depression in the U.S with the number of patients diagnosed with depression increasing by approximately 20 percent each year.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.
While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. It is most prevalent in people aged between 45 and 64.
As many as 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 adolescents have clinical depression. Women experience depression at twice the rate of men. This 2:1 ratio exists regardless of racial or ethnic background or economic status. The lifetime prevalence of major depression is 20-26% for women and 8-12% for men
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalised for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
What is Depression?
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. The severe form of depression is known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression.
The word depression is often bandied about to describe a feeling of being ‘fed up’ over something or another. I used it recently after returning from holiday several pounds heavier than when I left! ‘Gosh, this darn weight is depressing me’ I’d complain hoping for, but getting zero sympathy for pigging out on pizza, ice-cream and the other junk I just couldn’t say no to!
Though feeling fat and furiously NOT happy about my weight was displeasing, it hardly constituted clinical depression!I recovered quickly and put it down to the normal everyday ‘stuff’ that inevitably comes along with life (and a severely weak will-power!) Had it been a much more serious event that occurred, it may have served as a trigger for a type of depression called Situational Depression.
If you have ever faced a particularly stressful situation such as losing a loved one, laid off from a job, a victim of a violent crime, suffering from a serious illness, or any traumatic situation, it is quite common for such circumstances to cause Situational Depression. It can be described as a period of grief that often goes away after you have adapted to the new situation.
Depression however is really quite different. You experience a low mood over an extended period of time that is severe enough to interfere with normal day-to-day activities.
You may feel constantly sad, have little or no interest in activities, even those you would normally enjoy. It is quite normal to find yourself crying uncontrollably for no obvious reason. Depression extends a broad spectrum of symptoms depending on the severity.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that is related to changes in seasons which affects a person at the same time each year. You may have heard it being referred to as the winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression because it typically occurs as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter.
It is believed that affected people react adversely to the decreasing amounts of sunlight and the colder temperatures as the fall and winter progress. However in rare cases SAD has a reversed seasonal pattern with depression occurring only during the summer months and can cause heightened anxiety.
Though not as a serious as other forms of depression people suffering with SAD may experience serious mood changes when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up with the onset of spring.
Dysthymia sometimes referred to as mild, chronic depression, is less severe and has fewer symptoms than major depression. The symptoms of dysthymia are the same as those of major depression but fewer in number and not as intense. People with dysthymia may “go through the motions” of daily life, often with little pleasure or enthusiasm, for years.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) also known as clinical depression is the more serious form and is not something you can just snap out of.
As the name suggests, people who suffer from clinical depression have changes in important brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. There are also other factors that lead to clinical depression such as a person’s family history of illness, biochemical and psychological make-up. Like other forms of depression, it can be triggered by a traumatic life event or in some cases there are no identifiable causes at all.
Treatment for clinical depression usually involves a combination of medicines, talking therapies and self-help.
What is Anxiety?
Most people have experienced that ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling right before an important event such as an exam, a job, interview, speaking in public, a driving test, or getting married. It’s quite normal to feel anxiousness on this level and is the body’s response of adapting to a new situation. This type of reaction falls relatively low on the broad spectrum of anxiety.
However when anxiety becomes a regular part of your day and is felt with such force and intensity that it compromises the quality of your life, those butterflies may feel more like bricks!
This intense nervousness can be seen in many different forms but if you have experienced physical trembling/shaking, panic attacks, phobia, and an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations, you are likely suffering with a more serious form of anxiety.
The broadest type of anxiety is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and bears the hallmark of chronic worrying, nervousness and tension. People who suffer with anxiety are often plagued with a sense of dread about everyday things both big and small, such as bills, money, relationships and the future.
The main distinction between the anxiety that one would regard as normal and an anxiety disorder such as GAD is the degree to which it interferes with your daily life. Says Dr Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson:
‘The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction,’ think you will find this article very helpful in describing the differences between normal worry and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Many people with anxiety will also develop depression, and it is equally important to treat both conditions.
There are six major types of anxiety disorders:
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as mentioned above is characterised by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.Anxiety Attacks (Panic Disorder) a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualised behaviours you feel compelled to perform.
Phobia a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation you will go to great lengths to avoid, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed.Social Anxiety Disorder (previously known as social phobia) is a persistent and overwhelming fear of social situations. It’s one of the most common anxiety disorders.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have seen or lived through a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
How Healthy Are You?
As with any health concern and depression is no different, being proactive about your health can make a tremendous difference on the hold the condition has on you.
Depression can get you down, don’t suffer in silence! You are a person, not a mental health problem. My mission is to serve you in what ever way I can so please don’t hesitate to contact me. Take control of your health TODAY so it doesn’t end up taking control of you!
Look out for Part 2 on Natural Supplement for Depression and Anxiety. I’ll be sharing lots more on the symptoms, supplements and giving you some tips to support your mental health!
Until next time
Be Blessed, Stay Beautiful♥