Suicide Prevention Month
Wellness knows no time, dates, or schedules. Happiness should never be put on hold, but celebrating your wellbeing is a notable occasion indeed. That’s why we’re looking forward to September: a chance to take stock in all of our wins and work together to battle back the darkness in honor of Suicide Prevention Month.
A Brief History of Awareness
Though mental health disorders often languish in the shadows, a series of small breakthroughs led to the establishment of Suicide Prevention Month. Back in 1958, the inaugural U.S. prevention center opened in the city of Los Angeles. Twelve years later, a task force in Phoenix, Arizona, met to discuss the matter as a national health risk. But it wasn’t until the 1990’s when Congress finally acted, passing two resolutions to classify suicide as the existential threat it was (and still is).
Soon thereafter, September became Suicide Prevention Month. Specifically, September 10th was declared Suicide Prevention Day by the World Health Organization, which helps coordinate hundreds of activities in over 70 countries around the globe. These events help raise awareness and spread the message that depression can be defeated and suicide can be prevented.
Depression by the Numbers
People who suffer from depression often feel alone, but the statistics prove otherwise. Over 16 million Americans over the age of 18 experience a depressive episode each year. It is the number one factor causing disability in people aged 15 to 44 in the U.S., affecting an estimated 6.7% of the adult population.
But “depression” is a blanket term that demands distinction. Let’s break down the various forms of the condition that may afflict you or someone you love…
Types of Depression
Your psychological profile is as unique as your fingerprint. Depression affects everyone differently, but the affliction does tend to fall into one of the following categories:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – In addition to providing us with Vitamin D, sunlight also sways our mood. During the winter months, some people encounter Seasonal Affective Disorder and may require a specialized light box to help them cope with the ramifications.
- Bipolar Disorder – Also known as Manic Depression, Bipolar Disorder entails mood swings that bring you from high energy episodes to depressive lows.
- Psychotic Depression – If your depressive episodes dovetail with hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions, they could fall under the umbrella of Psychotic Depression.
- Peripartum Depression – After enduring the process of childbirth, many new mothers suffer from Postpartum Depression, also known as Peripartum Depression. The condition is exacerbated by the shift in one’s hormone levels and sudden change in sleeping and behavioral habits brought on by parenthood.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – At the beginning of some women’s menstrual cycle, they experience PMDD, triggering anxiety, mood swings, and fatigue.
- Situational Depression – An inciting event like divorce, death in the family, or other tragic occurrence could trigger Situational Depression, and it may last well longer than the initial mourning period associated with said event.
- Persistent Depression – If your depression lasts more than two years, it could be classified as Persistent. Though it might be low grade in intensity, it lingers in those who suffer from it.
- Major Depressive Disorder – This form of the affliction is the most consuming, occupying a large percentage of your time and energy. It is often accompanied by fatigue, fluctuations in weight, and suicidal tendencies.
If you suffer from depression, there is a tendency to withdraw from family, friends, and society writ large, but it is important to know that help is out there. It would be tragic to transfer your feelings of despair on to your loved ones by inflicting pain upon yourself… or worse. Every year, approximately 41,000 Americans succumb to suicide.
Please don’t be a statistic. There are ways to battle this disease. Let’s start the conversation now!
Lifting the Cloud of Depression
While many doctors immediately turn to medication as the answer to treating depression, it doesn’t always work for those in the throes of the condition. Your brain is a complex organ that dictates your moods and emotions, so there are many ways to deal with mental health issues.
By rerouting the flow of neurotransmitters through your nervous system, you can amplify your pleasure receptors and minimize the effects of depression. This can be achieved through the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS.
This process delivers a series of electromagnetic signals into your brain via a coil affixed to your head. It is a non-invasive procedure, requiring no anesthesia or hospitalization. The benefits could ripple into a better future for years to come.
Help Is Just a Call Away
While the statistics, facts, and numbers listed above may seem daunting, they shouldn’t be the last word on depression. By discussing the condition, we shine a light on the darkness of the disease. After all, that’s the purpose of Suicide Prevention Month. Transparency is the key to understanding, and communication is the catalyst to healing.
If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, please open the lines of communication. If you are unsure how to do so, we’re here to help. TMS might just be the relief you’ve been seeking all along, but there’s only one way to find out: ask for help. We’ll answer.