Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from mental health issues, and if you are one of them, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage you to take a personal inventory of your mental health. Talking about mental health can reduce the stigma and encourage those who are suffering to seek help. Modern day heroes like Olympian Michael Phelps have struggled with depression and anxiety, so remember – you’re not alone.
For some, depression comes later in life. This is not unique. According to the National Institute on Ageing, depression in older adults is a common phenomenon. One of the most cited reasons is that as people age, they tend to spend more time alone, and social isolation and loneliness are associated with higher rates of depression. But whatever your situation, whether you’re struggling with depression for the first time or have struggled for years, it’s important to seek the help of a professional.
It’s also important to keep in mind that people may experience depression differently, and there is no one single definition of it. But generally speaking, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, there are a few different types of depression. These include:
- Major Depressive Disorder: This includes symptoms lasting at least two weeks that interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, diminished interest in all, or nearly all, activities; depressed mood most days; fatigue; sleep disturbance; feelings of worthlessness.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) – a depressed mood that lasts more than two years, but the person may still be able to perform daily tasks, unlike someone with Major Depressive Disorder.
- Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder – depression related to the use of substances, like alcohol or pain medication.
There are other types of depression in addition to the three mentioned above. For more information, consult a professional. You can also visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website for additional information: https://nimh.nih.gov
And if you live in Brevard County, here is a list of some local mental health resources:
- Brevard Crisis Information: Dial 211 or (321) 632-6688
- Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988
- Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Crisis Information visit: https:/namiflorida.org/crisis-info/
- Circles of Care comprehensive behavioral services (offers several different kinds of care, including inpatient and outpatient services), 400 East Sheridan Road, Melbourne, FL,
- Coastal Psychiatric Urgent Care walk-in clinic (no appointment necessary) 1335 Valentine Street, Melbourne, FL, 321-586-5444 (telehealth available).
- Legacy Behavioral Health Center (outpatient) 1924 Dairy Road, West Melbourne, FL, 888-975-3422 or 321-256-8000.
- Palm Point Behavioral Health inpatient and outpatient services for children and adults. 2355 Truman Scarborough Way, Titusville, FL, 321-603-6550.
- Brevard County, Cedar Village Rockledge Assisted Living Facility (for people with severe mental health issues who require a long-term residential facility). Call (321) 890-1555 for more information.
A few steps that you can take immediately to try and lessen your anxiety and/or depression include:
- Talk to a good listener/Call a professional (review the above list)
- Go outside and take a walk
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Listen to your favorite music
- Write down your feelings
We hope you’ll take advantage of this information. And if you ever find yourself considering suicide, you can seek help immediately by dialing 988 on your phone – from anywhere in the United States. Stay safe, and remember, don’t be shy about getting the help you need.
This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality home health and private care to Brevard County patients. For more information about VNA services, call 321-752-7550 or visit www.vnatc.com.