June 10, 2014

Interventions, Understanding Depression

I don't know what happened for the month of May, but with several of the members helping others and others visiting friends and members in the hospital and then the nursing home, we had no reason for a meeting, as we were busy enough. Then Dr. Tom advised us that the speaker for the June session on interventions asked to be excused until September or October.

For now, we have no plans for meetings until at least September. Allen and Tim have been working with James and report that he is finally doing much better and that his last A1c was 7.9% which is a great improvement and even Dr. Tom is pleased as he hopes to have it under 6.5% when it will be checked again in August.

A.J. asked me to do this blog and thanked me for the previous depression blog. He knew about this and admitted that he had intended to ask me earlier, but when he read the blog, he felt that he should wait so it would be later. Thank you A.J. as I had intended on having it for our May meeting, which did not happen.

The blog referred to is about depression and when you should get help. The Centers on Disease Control and Prevention reports that depression many affect as many as 1 in 10 adults. They list the following as possible symptoms:
  1. Have little interest or pleasure in doing things
  2. Can't work or have trouble with doing routine activities
  3. Feel down, very sad, or hopeless
  4. Have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or find you are sleeping too much
  5. Feel tired or have little energy
  6. Can't eat or are overeating
  7. Feel bad about yourself, feel that you are a failure, or that you have let yourself or your family down
  8. Have trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
  9. Find that you are moving or speaking so slowly that other people have noticed, or the opposite, you are so fidgety or restless that you can't be still
Many people fear seeking mental health care. Seeking professional help is often the best way to get well. Mental health is just like physical health, sometimes we need to get treatment and care to get better.

Depression is often associated with other chronic diseases, like arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes, and can make managing those conditions more difficult. For many people, physical conditions can contribute to problems with their mental health, problems that are often ignored and not treated.

Even though the author recommends that you start with your primary care physician, I have found that most try to laugh it off and say you are not depressed if you have enough fortitude to bring it up. At least my endocrinologist knew what I was saying and after looking at my A1c and a few other tests, asked a couple of questions and then advised me to stay in touch. My depression was minor and he felt that I could handle it, but I was to call if I could not.

Medication and talk therapies are about equally effective. Sometimes it is best to use both together and for some people it does not work. I know from experience that if you have a major depression, you need to see a therapist sooner rather than later. If you have depression multiple times, a combination of therapy and medication is the usual treatment. Talk therapy for the first few times of minor depression can often be the best, especially if the doctor helps train you in how to overcome minor depression.

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