October Is National Depression Awareness Month

“It takes courage to look at your pain from a fresh approach. It takes courage to understand the need to change. It takes courage to step out in faith and act.” ~Turning Your Down Into Up: A Realistic Plan For Healing From Depression by A Place of Hope founder, Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

Many people who suffer from depression don’t even realize it. Or they suspect they’re depressed, but say and do nothing about it. Either way, it’s a lonely, debilitating existence, which you may very well know if you’re the one living with depression, or have experienced depression in the past. Sometimes it takes perceptive friends and family members to notice the signs and to reach out with the help and hope that finally makes a difference.

During National Depression Awareness Month this October, get to know the signs of depression — for yourself or a loved one who may be struggling in silence.

Some depression indicators include:

  • Loss of enjoyment in established activities
  • Restlessness, fatigue, or lack of motivation at work
  • An increase in irritability or impatience
  • A sense of being overburdened with life and its activities
  • A lack of spiritual peace or well being
  • Constant anxiety or vague fear about the future
  • Anger at God for how you feel
  • Social Isolation and distance from family or friends
  • A pattern of pessimistic or critical comments and/or behaviors
  • The belief that your best days are behind you
  • Upon waking, apathy about how the day will turn out
  • No motivation to try new activities
  • A significant change in appetite
  • Recurring disturbances in sleep patterns
  • Increased agitation or inability to relax
  • Fatigue, lethargy or loss of energy
  • Sadness, despondency, despair, loneliness
  • Inability to concentrate, focus, or make decisions
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Plans for suicide or an attempt at suicide

If any of these symptoms sound familiar — in yourself or a loved one — please refer to our depression survey for a complete list of 38 depression indicators. Keep in mind that you never know who within your social circle, online or off, may be struggling. So take the time to share via your social networks this blog post, the depression survey, Turning Your Down Into Up, and any other resources you find helpful this National Depression Awareness Month.

If you or a loved one need depression therapy, A Place of Hope can help. Contact Us for more information.

The Power of Intentional Response: Positive Self Talk

If you know what it’s like to feel at the mercy of your mood, you may be pleasantly surprised to realize you have more power than you think. In fact, what you’re thinking is the very thing that can determine whether your mood turns good or bad.

Every day, we have experiences that illicit in us automatic emotional reactions. Sometimes they’re positive, like the way we react to a hug, a compliment, or a chat with a close friend. But sometimes they’re negative, like the way we react to dropping a glass on the kitchen floor, getting cut off on the freeway, or having a conflict with a colleague at work.

Considering that each of these negative examples are common occurrences we all experience now and then, the impact we allow them to have on our day may seem disproportionate. Why? Because these kinds of events trigger negative self-talk that reinforces core beliefs we have about ourselves, other people, and the way the world works:

“I can’t do anything right.”

“People are so inconsiderate.”

“I don’t get along with anyone.”

While you may have no control over thoughts that pop into your head, you do have control over the thoughts you choose to have in response:

“I choose to accept and grow from my mistakes.”

“I choose to forgive the mistakes of others.”

“I choose to accept others for who they are.”

Of course, it doesn’t take any notable event for negative self-talk to play in our brains all day long. For many of us, it’s ingrained. If this sounds familiar, you may want to try an exercise we use in depression therapy at A Place of Hope.

Make a list of all the negative messages you remember hearing throughout your life, and to whom these messages may be attributed. Then, for each negative message on the list, write down a counteracting positive statement.

Note, positive self-talk is not self-deception, as explained in my book, Turning Your Down Into Up: A Realistic Plan For Healing From Depression:

“Positive self-talk is not mentally looking at circumstances with eyes that see only what you want to see. The practice of positive self-talk is often the process that allows you to discover the obscured optimism, hope, and joy in any given situation.

“Positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth, in situations and in yourself. “

Are you depressed? Take our survey.

Depression in the Workplace Affects Employers and Workers

More than ever before, depression has become an issue in America. Clinical depression is known to negatively affect your health, social interactions and personal relationships; and it can also affect your job or career. According to a recent Gallup Poll, about 12 percent of American workers have been diagnosed with depression at some point, and 6.1 percent of U.S. workers are currently being treated for clinical depression.

When it comes to work, we have all heard the phrase, “leave your problems at home,” but unfortunately you cannot leave your depression at home. A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way people eat and sleep, self-esteem, and the way they think about things. It will also affect workers’ performance at their jobs.

There are several of ways that depression can negatively affect an employee’s job performance. Below is a short list of ways that depression can affect employees in the workplace:

  • Increase in absenteeism
  • Loss of motivation
  • Changes in social interaction with other employees
  • Decrease job performance and productivity
  • Lack of cooperation

Besides affecting the employee, depression also affects employers and businesses as well. The same Gallup Poll mentioned above also revealed that annually, depression cost U.S. workplaces more than 23 billion dollars in lost productivity. Besides lost productivity, depression in the workplace is causing employers to spend money in other areas such as healthcare utilization, workers’ compensation and turnover.

Remember depression is a disease that can be treated. If you or somebody that you know is displaying signs of depression, take our depression survey. At A Place of Hope for Depression, we offer various methods of treatment for depression to make the workplace better for all employees and your employers. To find out more on how we can help treat your depression, contact us online or call us at 1-888-379-337 today.

You Are Not Alone If You Suffer From Depression

Depression is a common, yet severe, mental illness that can drastically affect a person’s mood and everyday life. Common symptoms of depression are: long term sadness, loneliness, loss of interest in everyday activities, anger, frustration, and loss of energy. In October 2012, the World Health Organization reported that more than 350 million people
Healthline reports 1 in 10 Americans have faced depression at some point in their lives. The occurrence of depression is higher in some states than in others. The states with the highest depression rates include: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, West Virginia, and Nevada. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population above the age of 18, in a single year.around the world struggle with depression. The rate of people developing depression is increasing by 20 percent per year, making depression the leading cause of disability worldwide.

More than 80 percent of people struggling with symptoms of depression are not receiving help or treatment, and that can lead to serious consequences. Depression can lead to long term emotional strain, medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and even suicide. An estimated one million deaths per year are due to suicide. There are numerous, effective depression treatments and programs, yet fewer than half of those suffering from depression actually get the treatments they need. It is crucial for people facing depressive disorders to seek treatment in order to overcome this obstacle.

If you think you or a loved one might be struggling with depression, please fill out our survey. If you know you are depressed and wish to find treatment, please contact us today. At A Place of Hope for Depression, our approach is to treat depression by healing the mind, body, and spirit. We offer a variety of successful treatment programs to help you recover stability and joy in your life. We know and understand the hardships you are going through and we truly wish to help you. Depression is not an easy thing to deal with but you can overcome it by getting the help you need. Don’t feel alone because A Place of Hope for Depression is here for you.

Study Supports the Existence of Depression Gene

As reported by WebMD, a new study indicates that those with a depression gene may respond to stress different than those without the gene.

The meta study, which was published in the January 2011 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, said that those with a short variation of the serotonin transporter gene, also known as 5-HTTLPR, are more likely to become depressed when faced with stress. These findings were the result of analyzing 54 depression studies published between 2000 and 2010 that involve more than 41,000 participants.

However, despite the finding, researchers do not recommend gene testing because the gene’s effect on depression risk is still unknown.

However, scientists are hopeful that this study will prompt more research into how depression affects the brain and, ultimately, more effective treatments for depression.

Clinical Depression on the Rise in Children and Teens

It’s fairly typical for children and teens to experience bouts of sadness and mood swings. However, clinical depression, a serious form of depression that affects most or all aspects of a sufferer’s life, is increasing among children and teens. It is believed that as many as five percent of people under the age of 18 suffer from clinical depression during their childhood or teen years, a significant increase from just 20 or 30 years ago.

Children and teens suffering from clinical depression, which can be caused by a chemical imbalance, a traumatic event or physical health issues, often exhibit several of the following symptoms:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Incessant feelings of sadness, hopelessness
  • Increased anxiety, tension or panic
  • Pessimism
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities and in other hobbies or interests
  • Heightened sensitivity to rejection
  • Significant increases or decreases in appetite
  • Noticeable changes in sleep habits — insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Restlessness, agitation and increased fidgeting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Self-harm such as cutting or taking excessive physical risks
  • Suicidal thoughts

If your child or teen is showing multiple symptoms of depression, we highly encourage you to seek help, as depression is easily treatable. At a Place of Hope, we offer whole-person treatment in depression, meaning we provide emotional, physical, spiritual and nutritional treatment for complete healing. To find out more about our childhood depression treatment program, please contact us today.