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 Aging, 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 Indian River County, here is a list of some local mental health resources:
- The Mental Health Association of Indian River County located at 820 37th Place, in Vero Beach. This is a walk-in counseling center. The Center “provides crisis intervention and individual therapy services to children, adults, and families as well as psychiatric evaluations and medication management services to adults. The Walk-In & Counseling Center Staff understands you can’t wait for an appointment, and we don’t expect you to have to. We are open Monday – Friday 8:30 am. until 5:00 pm. and no appointment is necessary. Just walk in.” For more information call 772-569-9788.
- UF Health Center for Psychiatry and Addiction located at 840 37th Place, Suite 2, Vero Beach. The UF Health Center for Psychiatry and Addiction “serves the Vero Beach community, Indian River County and the Treasure Coast, with a diverse array of clinical services and the most up-to-date and effective treatment programs. Call today for more information.” The center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 772-794-0179.
For additional local mental health resources, visit https://unstruggle.org, which describes itself as a “mental health movement.” Unstruggle.org will connect you with local mental health providers and other helpful information to promote positive mental health. These include some steps you can take immediately, including:
- Stand up and stretch.
- Take three slow, deep breaths.
- Talk to a good listener.
- Go outside and take a walk.
- Watch the sunrise or sunset.
- 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, private care and hospice to Indian River County patients. For more information about VNA services, call 772.494.6161 or visit www.vnatc.com.