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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Depression: It’s Not All the Same for Men and Women

Depression 6Scientific research continues to reveal that while men and women are overwhelmingly similar, there remain some key distinctives between the sexes. For example, although men and women both experience depression, it doesn’t look exactly the same for them. Here are some key gender-related differences:

Women Face a Higher Risk
Women are two times more likely than men to become depressed. The biological divide is partly due to hormonal differences between men and women. Even during fetal development men and women are experiencing differences in brain development that will affect their higher or lower vulnerability to depression.

Women Ruminate More
When women become depressed they tend to spend more time focusing on their negative emotions and thinking problems over and over in their head. This negative self-talk is called rumination and women do it more than men. When men feel depressed, they quickly find a way to distract themselves and their thoughts. This ability to redirect negative thoughts is a key skill for breaking out of depression.

Women More Vulnerable to Stress
It could be thanks to hormones, but women are more likely than men to become depressed following a stressful situation.

Women Frequently Experience Another Mental Health Disorder
It’s one of those gender injustices, but depressed women tend to experience another mental health disorder along with depression more often than men. Eating disorders and anxiety disorders in particular affect depressed women more than men.

Men Use Substances Before, Women After
Men and adolescent boys tend to ease any troubled emotions with drugs or alcohol before they actually become depressed while women tend to turn to substances after they become depressed.

Men and Women and Antidepressants
Although we don’t quite know why, but men and women respond differently to antidepressants.

Whether you are a man or a woman, depression is a real illness. And like a real illness, it can be treated. Family Guidance offers treatment for depression that can break the bonds of chronic sadness. Contact them today.

Recognizing Childhood Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are not adults-only diseases. Children and young adults also deal with mental illness. In16763938_s fact, it is estimated that 15 percent of all youth have some form of mental illness. The problem is that few adults are looking for this health issue in young people and, as a result, very few get proper help.

Up to three-fourths of the children with a mental health issue go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Experts suggest that parents use the following list as a tool for early detection, similar to other tools used to identify cancer early on. The sooner that mental illness is identified and treated, the better the outcome for the child. The list is based on studies of over 6,000 children.

1. Deep sadness which lasts two weeks or longer

2. Attempting serious self-harm or planning self-injury

3. Sudden, unfounded fear, possibly with increased heartbeat and breathing

4. Persistent, aggressive behavior, a strong desire to harm others

5. Extreme, uncontrolled behaviors that are potentially harmful

6. Refusing to eat, using extreme measures to lose weight (e.g.: laxatives or

7. Repeated substance use

8. Extreme moodiness and relationship struggles

9. Drastic alterations in personality or behavior

10. Difficulty in concentration that leads to impaired schoolwork or personal

11. Fears or worries that are intrusive and interfere with daily living

If you, the parent, notice one or more of these signs it’s probably time to talk with a mental health professional and seek an evaluation for your child. The professionals at Family Guidance have years of experience examining children and are ready to help you sort through what behaviors are a normal part of growing up and what may be signs of a mental illness.

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – Peer Support is Crucial

Mental Health 15On May 6, 2014 the national launch of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Inspiring Resiliency, Creating Hope will take place in our country’s capitol. The event is expected to draw national attention to the many local events which will be held across the country on May 8, 2014.

At the Washington, D.C. event, the director of Health and Human Services will be joined by the DeBlasio family. Bill DeBlasio is the current mayor of New York City, but it is actually his 19 year old daughter Chiara who will be the official guest of honor. Chiara has spoken publicly about her own struggles against substance abuse and depression. Ms. DeBlasio will be recognized as an example
of hope for other young people dealing with mental health concerns.

One of the highlights of the event will be discussion of the importance of peer support in the face of mental health challenges. Young people with a mental health condition sometimes face obstacles in key areas of life such as housing, education, employment and justice. Having the help of another person of similar age can be encouraging and empowering for the person trying to overcome these hurdles. Chiara DeBlasio will be joined by four additional young people who have exemplified resiliency or who have been able to be a support person for someone else.

The national launch is just the beginning however. Real change will come as young people in communities all across the country participate in local events and discover how they can successfully manage challenges or offer help to others. Join us at Family Guidance in recognizing Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Family Guidance offers assistance every day to those confronted with the realities of mental illness. They also offer help to friends and family members so that they better understand what positive support should look like.

The Important Link Between Mental Health and Heart Health

The number one cause of death in America is cardiovascular disease. That makes heart health a leading health concern in our country. Are you aware that your mental health can make a difference in
your heart health? It can, and here’s why…..

Everything Works Together Because We’re All One Piece

Most people are aware that things like smoking cigarettes, eating fatty foods and being overweight areMental Health 14 bad for their heart. That’s because you are not a conglomeration of separate parts, but you are a unitary organism. All of your parts are inter-related. That connectivity extends to your mind and mood as well.

Limit Your Mood Swings

You know that you should limit salt and cholesterol, but you should also do what you can to limit your stress, anxiety and depression too. That’s because those things affect your heart. Healthy habits involve the things which affect your physical body AND your emotions.

Lower Stress

Stress in particular has come to be seen as a pivotal player when it comes to heart health. Not everyone is stressed by the same things or even to the same degree, but everyone should learn positive ways to lower daily stress.

For example, if you spend a lot of time thinking about the things that are going wrong in your life, you could be hurting your heart – figuratively and literally. On the other hand, stuffing down and internalizing negative emotions can also cause damage.

Mental health produces biochemical realities within your body. If you are stressed and anxious, then your mood can actually restrict blood flow to your heart or make it more likely that blockages will form.

Depression Raises Risk, Lowers Rehab

People who are depressed run a greater chance of developing heart disease. Many people who are dealing with heart disease become depressed and that can make it tougher for them to recover. You may not be able to stop yourself from experiencing depression, but you can do something about it.

Take Charge of Your Mental Health

You really can’t do anything about your family history when it comes to heart health. You may be at risk just because it’s in your family. But you can take charge of your mental health and that is one way to protect your heart. Don’t ignore stress, anxiety and depression – deal with them. Take control over
your thoughts. Find positive ways to express negative feelings. If you would like help learning to manage your moods, contact the professionals at Family Guidance.