Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

You’re Not Alone: A Mental Health Message for our Veterans

Veterans are 15x more likely to suffer from PTSD. If you have a service-related mental health issue, you’re not alone. Get help today.Our veterans and service members are some of the most brave men and women in our country. They’re passionate and disciplined when it comes to protecting and serving our country, which is a commitment we’re grateful for every day.

The invisible wounds of war

That bravery continues off duty as well — many carry the heavy weight of the sights and experiences they encountered while serving. Consider these statistics:

  • 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found PTSD to be 15 times more likely for veterans and service members compared to civilians. The same report found depression to occur 5 times more frequently among military members than civilians.
  • The same study from JAMA found 1 in 4 active duty military members suffer from a mental health condition.

PTSD, anxiety, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST) and other mental health conditions can all occur as a result of military service. And, these health issues are every bit as serious as injuries we can see.

Healing these wounds

Our veterans and service members need access to quality mental health programs. They also need to know it’s okay to talk about their experiences. If someone you love may be suffering from a mental health issue, please check in with them regularly. Ask them how they’re doing and be ready to simply listen.

If you’re a veteran or service member suffering from any mental health symptom or condition, please reach out for help. Talk to a friend, family member or fellow veteran. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. You should never be embarrassed to get treatment for a mental health issue.

Honor our veterans and service members this Veterans Day by sharing this message with others. You can also help change the way the world sees mental health by taking the stigma-free pledge.

Do you want to learn more about the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program?

Yes, I want to learn more now.

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.