Depression — What It Is & How To Recognize It

Feeling depressed and having depression

Photographed by Ben Lamberty.
Despite lots of advancements in the psychology world, many aspects of depression remain mysterious, to mental health professionals and their patients alike. The video below, one of the latest from TEDEd, suggests that this is due to the condition’s intangibility — depression isn’t a cold or some other illness with physical symptoms that are clear and consistent. However, the video, created by Helen M. Farrell, MD, provides some insight into what depression is, and what signs to look for (in yourself and your loved ones).
It’s vital to understand the difference between feeling depressed and having depression. Just about all people deal with feelings of sadness, but they pass or are eventually (at times, even easily) resolved. Depression, on the other hand, lasts much longer, following those who suffer from it to the point that they may lose hope of finding a solution. Clinical depression, as explained in this video, can cause sufferers to avoid activities or people that used to excite and engage them, exacerbating the sense of guilt and worthlessness that also accompanies the condition. A lack of energy, appetite, and concentration commonly occurs as well. Most alarmingly, people with depression may deal with recurring thoughts of suicide.

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Mental Illness Affects Everyone

Do you know that 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year? Do you know that approximately 60% of adults, and almost 50% of youth, ages 8 -15,
with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year?
Do you know that serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year?
 
 
 
 
 
Lenny Sanicola Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Increasing Alcohol Taxes Could Help Reduce Binge Drinking

Increasing Alcohol Taxes Could Help Reduce Binge Drinking, Study Suggests

 
 
 

alcoholismRaising alcohol taxes may help reduce the binge drinking rate, according to researchers at Boston University.

They found a one percent increase in alcohol prices due to taxes was associated with a 1.4 percent decrease in binge drinking.

The more alcohol taxes increase, the more binge drinking rates decrease, the researchers report in Addiction.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting for men, or four or more drinks for women and causes more than half of the almost 90,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States annually, HealthDay reports.

Tennessee, the state with the highest taxes on beer, had the lowest binge drinking rate (6.6 percent) in 2010. In contrast, the states with the lowest alcohol taxes (Delaware, Montana and Wisconsin), had the highest binge drinking rates.

In 2010, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, an independent panel of public health and prevention experts, recommended increasing taxes on the sale of alcoholic beverages, "on the basis of strong evidence of the effectiveness of this policy in reducing excessive consumption and related harms."

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Petting Away Depression

You've seen the TV commercials, the person in black and white and sad while they watch their friends and family in color happy as can be? Then the sad individual gets help, sees the world in color and has a dog run into frame to play with them, or they are suddenly on the couch petting their beloved cat. Well, there's a reason for that, pets can help individuals with depression/illnesses/anxiety.

"Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression," says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.

Depression affects millions of individuals in the USA alone. A lot of people reading this suffer from some form or know someone who does. A pet might not be right for everyone, so don't just show up with a pet one day for someone you know with depression.

 

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Service animals alleviate anxiety

Students may skirt system to connect with favorite pets

By Jason Daniels

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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stress animals

MCT

Harry Potter, a corgi with the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog group, waits to meet students and staff at Chapman University Law School for some stress relief.

Some enjoy the company of an animal. The presence can be calming, therapeutic or just friendly. Yet while some just enjoy the company, others may need it.

There recently has been a proliferation of service animals in a widening range of occupations outside of the traditional roles as helpers for the hearing or sight impaired.

“It’s just an opportunity to have that human-animal connection,” Valeska Wilson-Cathcart, assistant director of administration and innovation for UCF Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “There’s a lot of research with how it can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood and provide relief.”

Lately, there has been a focus on using dogs to help with the emotional and mental stability of an individual in need. This broadening of what a service dog entails has broadened the amount of people that are entitled to an animal that is able to go with them anywhere.

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