Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Break the Stigma: Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental illness. Break the silence and seek treatment for a healthier you from the experts at Emory.The words mental illness often bring specific ideas or images to mind. But, the reality is that mental illness affects far more people than you imagine. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental illness. Those are friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors, or it could be you.

Many factors can contribute to the development of a mental illness such as our genetics (inherited characteristics), our environment and certain life events. While we all experience fear, anxiety and stress from time to time, mental illness is something more — causing disruption to our everyday lives and lasting longer than a typical emotional reaction.

Know the Signs of Mental Illness

Since there are many types of mental illness and since each person is affected differently, it can be hard to recognize the signs. But here are few things to watch for:

  • Changes in work or school performance
  • Excessive worry, fear or sadness
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Inability to handle daily stress
  • Avoiding family, friends and social situations
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Significant changes in sleeping patterns

A note about treatment resistant depression and anxiety

While depression and anxiety are only a few of many mental health conditions that can be debilitating, they are the most common. These two disorders alone affect more than 16 million adult Americans each year and are the leading cause of disability worldwide. But here’s the good news — they’re treatable. Taking an anti-depressant or going to counseling will ease symptoms for most. But for some, depression and anxiety persist despite these treatments.

Emory’s Treatment Resistant Depression Program was developed to help patients with complex and difficult-to-treat mood disorders. The program has been life changing for many patients who’ve been trying to treat their depression for years. Sadly, because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, far too few will even try to seek help or treatment of any kind.

Do you want to learn more about the Emory Treatment Resistant Depression Program? Yes, I want to learn more now.

Modern Treatments for Depression – Live Chat Takeaways

depression-emailDepression that doesn’t respond to the standard medication or psychological counseling therapies, may be classified as treatment resistant depression (TRD). If you have tried the standard treatments and they have not relieved your symptoms, or your symptoms improve for a time but keep coming back it may be time to ask your doctor about referring you, for a consultation, to a specialist who can diagnose and treats major depression. Members of the TRD program evaluate an individual’s symptoms and current treatment course to see if other newly proven therapies that may offer relief.

We hosted a live chat on Tuesday, September 13 with the care clinicians and psychiatrists from Emory’s Treatment Resistant Depression program. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and get real-time answers about depression and new treatment options that may be able to help you manage this often chronic condition and improve the quality of your daily life. We received a lot of great questions. Below you can find some highlights from questions we were asked before and during the live chat. You can read the full chat transcript here.

 

Question: I have tried many of the “available” mess for depression with very little result. Is there a difference in depression and bi- polar depression. If so, what are some meds geared toward bipolar depression?

TRD Program Team: Yes, there is a difference between people diagnosed with bipolar depression and, unipolar depression. Bipolar depression has both highs (in the form of manic and hypomanic episodes) and lows in the form of depression. The lows for bipolar and unipolar depression are similar, but treating a person with bipolar depression with an antidepressant puts them at risk of developing mania. So treating a person with bipolar depression can be more difficult.

Persons with bipolar depression may get put on a lot of medications- some for mania, some for depression and some for anxiety. Treating bipolar depression can be challenging and getting expert treatment may involve a comprehensive evaluation, and sometimes using fewer medications rather than more, and using other therapeutic treatments such as psychotherapy is the best option. Our Treatment Resistant Depression program may be an option for someone who has been under psychiatric care with little or no relief, you can find more information on our program here.

 

Question: What is late onset depression, and how can it be treated besides drugs?

TRD Program Team: Late onset depression is depression that starts after the age of 50. Often depression that starts after the age of 50 has a medical cause, so the patient should be evaluated carefully. Psychotherapies are as effective as medications in late-onset depression. You can read more about late-life depression in general here: http://fuquacenter.org/depression

Besides medication and psychotherapies, there are also non-medication treatments available. Treatment options for late-late depression can be found here: http://fuquacenter.org/treatmentoptions

 

Question: My son said he heard Ketamine might help with my depression. Is this true?

TRD Program Team: Yes, Ketamine is an off-label treatment for depression that has been shown to be effective, but it is not widely available and is not an FDA-approved treatment at this time. You can learn about one woman’s story with Ketamine here.

If you are seeking Ketamine treatment through Emory, your psychiatrist can make a referral to our TRD program. You can learn more about that here.

 

Read the full chat transcript here.

Ask the Experts: Modern Treatments for Depression- September 13, 2016

Depression that doesn’t respond to the standard medication or psychological counseling therapies, may be classified as treatment resistant depression (TRD).Do you or a loved one suffer with depression? Has coping with depression been an ongoing challenge with little relief?

Depression that doesn’t respond to the standard medication or psychological counseling therapies, may be classified as treatment resistant depression (TRD). If you have tried the standard treatments and they have not relieved your symptoms, or your symptoms improve for a time but keep coming back it may be time to ask your doctor about referring you, for a consultation, to a specialist who can diagnose and treats major depression. Members of the TRD program evaluate an individual’s symptoms and current treatment course to see if other newly proven therapies that may offer relief.

Join care clinicians and psychiatrists from Emory’s Treatment Resistant Depression program, for a live web chat Tuesday, September 13 at 12noon. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and get real time answers about depression and new treatment options that may be able to help you manage this often chronic condition and improve the quality of your daily life.

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PTSD Awareness Day- June 27th

ptsd-squareJune 27th is PTSD Awareness Day. With summer here and the 4th of July around the corner, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would like to remind you that fireworks can cause discomfort for our combat veterans. Good times for you can be agonizing for them, please be mindful and courteous and take the time to educate yourself and your family about PTSD.

1. Learn:

There are many resources available to learn about PTSD. Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would be happy to send one of our veterans to educate your organization PTSD. If you desire to have this opportunity please contact Gretchen Evans at 404.727.8325 or by email: gretchen.evans@emoryhealthcare.org

If you or a loved one is a post 9/11 veteran who struggles with symptons of PTSD, TBI or other depression or anxiety disorders please contact the Emory Veterans Program Care Coordinator at 1-888-514-5345.

2. Be Aware:

Find out if any of your neighbors are combat veterans and if they are inform them that you will be celebrating with fireworks so that they will not be surprised and can have the opportunity prepare themselves. They do not wish to ruin your fun, but this allows them to make other arrangements if necessary.

3. Know the facts:

Know that a high percentage of veterans suffer from PTSD. Know that treatment is available and that treatment is very successful.

If you or a loved one is a post 9/11 veteran who struggles with symptoms of PTSD, TBI or other depression or anxiety disorders please contact the Emory Veterans Program Care Coordinator at 1-888-514-5345.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Learn More and Join the Fight

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month. Learn more about brain health and Alzheimer's disease from experts at Emory Brain Health Center.The Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t discriminate: We’re all at risk regardless of our education or income level. As we age, our risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias grows. The Emory Brain Health Center team is working to help us better recognize, understand and fight this devastating disease. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Find out more about the most common form of dementia, and how you can join the fight.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal, degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. It affects more than 47 million people around the globe. Alzheimer’s disease leads to problems with:

  • Memory
  • Problem solving
  • Daily tasks
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Vision
  • Understanding time or place
  • Work
  • Socializing
  • Decision-making
  • Mood or personality

Can Anything Stop or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease?

Right now, there is no prevention, cure or proven method to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s. However, certain medicines can improve or slow down symptoms temporarily. And, these lifestyle practices may delay its onset:

  • Regular exercise
  • Mental stimulation
    A healthy, balanced diet

How Can You Join the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease?

During the month of June, the Alzheimer’s Association asks people around the world to “go purple” by finding a way to join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. There are many ways to help – big and small:

  • Show support by wearing purple throughout the month of June
  • Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias
  • Start conversations in your community to raise brain health awareness
  • Donate to Alzheimer’s research
  • Consider becoming a volunteer for a clinical trial.

Emory researchers work diligently to uncover the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and to improve treatment options by leading clinical trials. Thanks to volunteers from our community both with and without Alzheimer’s disease, we’re making headway and accelerating Emory’s efforts to find a cure. Would you like to learn more about becoming a volunteer in a clinical trial? Yes, I’d like to learn more now.

You can also make a contribution to the Emory Brain Health Center in support of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Yes, I’d like to make a contribution now.

What Is the Emory Brain Health Center?

In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, the Emory Brain Health Center treats a wide range of conditions that affect the brain, such as:

Would you like to learn more about the Emory Brain Health Center? Yes, I’d like to learn more now.

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A Look at the Emory Brain Health Center

More than 42 million people in the United States are fighting brain diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, chronic neurologic and psychiatric conditions are predicted to be the greatest health issue facing our aging population in the coming years.

To learn more about the Emory Brain Health Center and hear directly from patients about the care they received, please watch this video.

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