A football player being tackled, a solider impacted by an explosive device, a person in a car accident, or even a child falling from playground equipment- as humans our brains are susceptible to injury- particularly concussions. But because brain injuries are complicated and you don’t normally see outward signs of a concussion, like bleeding or a bruise, they often go untreated- but that’s a risky mistake. In recent studies a link has been drawn between concussions and depression- leaving the person suffering long after the initial trauma occurred.
Something that people with depression are tired of hearing is “just get over it” or “cheer up”. We’ve learned that depression is not as simple as just feeling sad and that it doesn’t come with a quick fix. However, what if anti-depressants weren’t the only treatment? What if there were other, more natural, day-to-day fixes that could help play a role in the reduction and prevention in depression? Recent studies have shown that changes in daily activity, diet, and sleep can greatly impact the outcome of those suffering from depression.
Subjective factors, on the other hand, are shaped by the point of view of the individual; an example of a subjective factor would be perceived financial strain, or how that individual views his or her financial struggles (or lack thereof). These indicators are not used as often in studies or analyses, so we know less about how a specific person’s point of view can affect his or her risk of mental health issues.
If someone were asked to picture an elderly person, it would be likely they would picture someone who is wise, with years of experience under their belt- possibly a doting grandparent, but rarely would the image of a depressed individual come to mind. Because of this stereotype, depression among seniors tends to go unrecognized and is brushed off as a result of aging. However, senior citizens tend to be one of the most at risk demographics for depression.
It’s no secret that depression is prevalent in our society. It’s one of the most common mental illnesses, with 6.7% of adults in the United States suffering every year from symptoms of hopelessness, persistent sadness, changes in appetite, and loss of interest and energy (NIMH, n.d.). However, even with major depressive disorder being such a common illness, the United States lacks adequate resources to care for those suffering due to a decrease in mental health funding. Other issues include, the closing of state owned psychiatric hospitals and failure of doctors following up with patients after medical care (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2014).
Not only have we seen the effects of exposure-based therapy in efficacy studies and clinical studies, but when comparing it to SSRI medication and psychotherapy as treatments for anxiety disorders, exposure-based CBT has proven to be the most superior form of treatment (Wolitzky-Taylor, Zimmermann, Arch, De Guzman, & Lagomasino, 2015).
It is a common misassumption that being depressed is simply “feeling sad all of the time.” This misconception, in turn, often spurs the question: Everyone feels unhappy once in a while, won’t depressed people “snap out of it” eventually?
Separation Anxiety. The term brings to mind children clinging to their mothers, or a pet that misbehaves after the owner has left the house. People rarely think of adults suffering from this anxiety disorder, and why should they? Up until just a few years ago, the disorder wasn’t even diagnosed unless the age of onset was before eighteen (Bögels, Knappe, and Clark). With the publication of new guidelines in 2013, the medical community may be more aware of adults with separation anxiety disorder, but the general public may still be in the dark
Around twenty percent of children and adolescents have some form of anxiety. As of result, anxiety disorders are a common psychological ailment in today’s youth (Donovan). These forms of anxiety are certainly debilitating and can have negative consequences on a child as he or she develops (Donovan). Therefore, it is critical that steps are taken to prevent the initiation as well as development of these disorders as children grow up. What’s certainly interesting is that there are certain risk factors associated with this development of anxiety-related disorders. Thus, knowledge and avoidance of these factors can play a role in preventing the development of anxiety disorders in growing children.
Specific phobia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is an “intense, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger,” that lasts for a minimum of six months (“Highlights of Changes”). When confronted with their phobia, people can have intense anxiety reactions including panic attacks, increased heart rate and an inability to control their actions (Rogge). For a lot of phobias, simply avoiding their fear works fine, but for someone afraid of common items, such as elevators or tunnels, avoiding these things can interfere and affect their life (“Specific Phobias”).