JACKSON, Miss.- The recent death of Robin Williams has struck a heart string in many, but the fight of depression is more common than one may think.
Social worker with Longleaf Hospital, Theresa Earthly says, “It’s very common, but people don’t like to talk about it.”
Many people in Mississippi face hardships everyday with high obesity rates, living in poverty and more than average single parent homes and for some these may be the tipping points that trigger depression.
Earthly said, “Some symptoms of depression are lack of appetite, or excessive appetite, you may not be able to sleep, or you’re waking up early in the mornings from lack of sleep and the one sign that indicates you really need to get help is when you’re having thoughts of suicide.”
Some people may feel ashamed that they are having these thoughts, but it’s an indication they need to get help. “Some people suffer from different levels of depression. Some of it can be a chemical imbalance or an environmental situation,” Earthly said.
Bipolar disorder is another form of depression. “One part of it is where you can feel so low you can’t get out of bed and the other part of it is the mania, where you may feel overly happy and excited and have so much energy, but may be making some very poor decisions.” Earthly said, “The whole body and the brain work together and sometimes we forget that. Sometimes the brain doesn’t feel too well and just needs a little extra help.”
A good place to start seeking help is through your primary care physician and then they can direct you toward a more intensive treatment or give you medication or refer on on to whatever option is best for your needs.
You can also call Longleaf Hospital at 318-445-5111 where they will do a phone assessment and then can get you into treatment or refer you to outpatient treatment.
Theresa Earthly said the best advice she could give was to make sure you talk to somebody, don’t hold it in. One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to hold in your feelings. “There are strategies you can use to get over depression, whether it’s through a therapist, medication or learning to be more active. You may be very lonely or had extreme life changes that you haven’t adjusted to yet, but there are ways to get help and get better.”
There are many treatment centers that focus on and help with depression throughout the state of Mississippi. If you struggle with this, then take the first step and look for a center close to you. There are people out there who want to help. For a list of some treatment centers visit: http://treatment.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?state=MS&spec=2