Depression: Let’s Talk about It

#LetYourLightShine

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October is Depression Awareness Month. In addition to emotional symptoms, depression can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches and chest pain. And the pain is real. Very real. But in order to treat the physical symptoms, the physical pain, the depression itself must be treated. If you (or someone you know) are experiencing emotional, mental, or physical symptoms that you think might be caused by depression, there is an online survey that you can take in order to learn if your symptoms might need further attention. You can find the survey at HealthyMindsUtah.Org.

Fight On,

Jay

Getting to “Be”

#WhatIsCallingYou  #ItsInTheWayThatYouUseIt  #DoThatThing  #LiveLikeThat  #TheMoreYouKnow  #TrustTheProcess  #BeMore  #Thrive  #Be

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The best way to do anything is to be. Be something.

Be a writer. An advocate. Or a pioneer.

If you want to explore life’s paths and promises, be an explorer. If you want to travel back in time or get to know the world’s most-influential individuals, be a reader. If you want to share meals and make memories with others, be a friend.

Or, be peaceful. Brave. Or empathetic.

If you want to advance a cause or lead a revolution, be inspiring. If you want to create change, be the change that you want to see. If you want to build bridges or heal hearts, be love.

If you want to live – really live – be; just be.

Inspire and Be Inspired,

Jay

Spiritual Art image by Toni Grote

Depression: Let’s Talk about It

#JustDoIt

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Yesterday, October 6, was the 25th annual National Depression Screening Day. A day when healthcare professionals across the United States stress the importance of screening for depression and other mental illnesses. The intent of the initiative is to raise awareness about depression and help individuals with the condition find opportunities for assessment and treatment.

For many of us, the term “depression” probably makes us think of symptoms such as feeling sad, down, and anxious. While those are common symptoms, it’s important to know that depression can also cause physical symptoms. People sometimes spend a lot of time trying to research and treat the perceived physical causes of their symptoms, only to find no physical source and instead learn that their depression is making them experience physical symptoms too. For example, some people with depression experience headaches; and regular migraine sufferers oftentimes find that depression makes the pain worse and more frequent. Other ways that depression can manifest itself as physical symptoms are muscle and joint pain; appetite changes; difficulty sleeping or falling asleep; and much more.

The National Institutes of Health reports that approximately 12 percent of patients seen by primary-care physicians have major depression. However, accurately diagnosing those patients with such depression can be very challenging in that a variety of other illnesses – mental and physical – present similar symptomatology. Additionally, depression often co-occurs with other major disorders making it even more difficult to diagnosis accurately.

Consequently, thorough screening for depression (and other mental illnesses) by competent professionals is necessary in order to make an accurate diagnosis. We can help the diagnostic process significantly by identifying and monitoring our symptoms ahead of time and being prepared to share and explain them in as much detail as possible.

If you believe that you have any of the symptoms of depression, visit your healthcare provider. Be sure to share with your provider if you think that depression might be causing your symptoms. You can take a quick mental health self-assessment at HealthyMindsUtah.Org to help you determine if you have symptoms consistent with depression.

I am posting this message on October 7, the day after the National Depression Screening Day. Not because I forgot to post it yesterday or was not otherwise actively involved supporting the initiative, but I do so today in order to drive and reinforce the idea that today – an unheralded day – is also a good day to talk about and take on depression. Depression knows no schedule and is no respecter of national screening days, convenience, or good timing.

So if today, or tomorrow, or next month is the “right time” for you, then let’s take it on then. We don’t have to wait for a designated day or event in order to take action. We can, and should, talk about and see to our mental health as often as, and with as much dedication and commitment as, we do our physical health, because mental health matters.

And so do you.

Fight on,

Jay