depression awareness

Depression symptoms are common, affecting about 19% of people in the United States in 2019. Unfortunately, since the coronavirus outbreak, rates of depression have increased nationwide. When broken down by state, the highest rates of depression and anxiety were found in Louisiana, a trend that was established even before the outbreak of the virus. Given this, depression awareness is essential for Louisianans. Learn about depression, depression treatment, and how to find help in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.

Depression Awareness

Feeling blue is a part of life. But when feelings of ongoing sadness or lethargy impair your daily routine, diagnosable depression may be to blame. And Louisiana is no stranger to depression. Even before the onset of COVID, Louisiana ranked second in an increase in depression from the years 2014-2018 according to the CDC. Since the coronavirus hit in March of 2020, this number has only increased.

Nearly 37% of Louisiana residents reported depression or anxiety between April 2020 and December 2020, the timeframe that pandemic restrictions were most prominent. This is higher than the national average rate of 32%, but consistent with previous reports of high rates of depression in this southern state.

Why Do People Get Depressed?

There is no one exact cause of depressive disorders. Rather, it is thought to be a combination of factors that predispose someone to this mental condition. For example, medical ailments, hormonal shifts, substance abuse, and even seasonal weather changes may lead to a depressive episode. Usually, however, it is a combination of factors.

Common contributors to clinical depression include:

Sadly, many of these conditions were amplified on a national level as COVID-19 swept across the country. Isolation resulting from quarantine and social distancing along with many other stressors created an atmosphere conducive to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Fortunately, there is hope in depression treatment.

Depression Awareness: Recognizing Signs of Depression

Depression Awareness & Symptoms Infographic

Clinically speaking, a diagnosis of depression will not be given unless multiple symptoms are continuous for at least two weeks. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • A loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Lack of energy or excessive fatigue
  • Disruptions in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Overwhelming apathy
  • Unnecessary feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you have any of these symptoms, rest assured that you are not alone. Depression is very common and can affect anyone of any ethnicity or background. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but the sooner you recognize a depressive pattern, the sooner you can secure help for these symptoms.

Treatment for Depression in Louisiana

Recognizing signs of depression is a big part of depression awareness. However, another piece of understanding this mental condition is knowing how to find help. Most moderate to severe depression does not go away on their own but do respond well to depression treatment.

Most often, one (or more) of the following treatment options will be used:

    1. Psychotherapy:
      Psychotherapy involves speaking with a trained therapist in order to work through reasons for distress. Sessions are held in both individual or group formats and include techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral therapy.
    2. Medication:
      Medications are frequently used for depression treatment. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft are often used, but these are not the only options. Your exact protocol will depend on your symptoms and how you respond to the medication.
    3. Attention to Co-Occurring Disorders:
      Often, substance use disorders accompany depression. Drug abuse can be used as self-medication, but can also worsen or cause depressive symptoms. In these cases, depression treatment at behavioral facilities that offer dual diagnosis care is important. In this way, both conditions can be assessed separately and together in order to see how one is affecting the other.
    4. Lifestyle Changes:
      Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes can reduce the severity of depression symptoms. These include adjustments like optimizing nutrition and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. The inclusion of small but healthy patterns supplement other depression treatments well, but may not be enough to manage depression on their own.

When it comes to treating depression, not every treatment will work for every person. However, one of the benefits of receiving mental health care in an accredited behavioral hospital is the trial and error process that will find the right combination of treatment for you.

Mental Health & Depression Awareness Help When You Need It

Depression awareness is vital to connecting mental health resources with those who need help. Nationally, Depression Awareness Month is held in October, but given how common the condition is, every day is a good day to discuss the topic.

Part of the reason for the elevated rates of depression in Louisiana is the relative lack of access to mental health treatment. At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, it is our goal to close this gap. At our Louisiana behavioral health hospital, we offer adult psychiatric programs in both inpatient and outpatient formats. In addition, we offer a dual diagnosis program to address any accompanying addiction and can assist in crisis stabilization.

At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital we want you to know that you do not have to live with depression. To learn more about our mental health treatment options contact us at 225-300-8470 or by using our confidential online form, many times we can get you admitted as soon as today.

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