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Women More Apt Than Men to Develop a Mood Disorder

Researchers Believe Female Hormones Could Trigger a Mood Disorder for Women

mood disorderWhen studying illness researchers are interested not only in how the disease behaves and progresses, but also in what may cause or contribute to the development of the illness in the first place. Risk factors are those things which seem to make a person more likely to contract or develop specific health issues. Risk factors can be behavioral (e.g. smoking may lead to lung cancer), they can be hereditary (certain illnesses run in families) and they can be environmental (loud work environments may cause hearing loss). For some conditions, even your gender may pose a risk factor. Women, for example, are two times more apt than men to experience a mood disorder.

Hormones Could be Attributed
One reason that women may be more susceptible to developing a mood disorder could stem from their hormone system. Investigators believe that hormones are linked to mood disorders because it is only during a woman’s reproductive years that there is a measurable difference in the prevalence of mood disorder between men and women. Before and after that season of life mood disorders seem to affect similar numbers of males and females.

In fact, hormones and mood disorder could be symbiotic. Women face a higher risk of mood disorder around hormonal events such as menstruation, childbirth and menopause. At the same time, the presence of a mood disorder can impact hormonal events such as early menopause. This means that if you are a woman still in childbearing years, it’s important that you not ignore any signs of a mood disorder.

Mood disorders can become chronic and persistent — but they are manageable with help from experienced mental health professionals. Please contact us at Family Guidance Center. We understand and we can help.

The Connection Between Mental Health and Physical Health

How Treating Depression Aids Both Mental Health and Physical Health

When a person is living with depression, it can impact their everyday quality of life. It can also impact their physical health. The connectionmental health and physical health between mental health and physical health is strong. And just as chronic illness may lead to depression, depression can deepen the symptoms of physical illness. If you treat depression effectively it can actually help to alleviate some physical discomforts associated with chronic medical conditions.

The mental health and physical health link works in both directions. If you have untreated depression, you are more susceptible to some physical conditions such as heart disease, irritable bowel, stroke, back pain or certain kinds of cancer. On the flip side, patients living with these kinds of chronic illnesses are more vulnerable to developing depression. Thus, whichever came first, the association between mental health and physical health persists.

By treating your depression you can significantly impact your physical health and your quality of life. Treatment for depression may include use of antidepressant medication, but not necessarily. Sometimes, lifestyle changes such as adding moderate exercise into your daily schedule and paying attention to your sleep routine (sleep hygiene) can be enough to turn things around. A short-term course of cognitive behavioral therapy which helps you learn to take charge of thought patterns is another way to help clear the fog of depression.

What matters most is that you realize the importance of addressing depression. It could trigger other health matters or make existing health matters worse. Either way, taking steps to address your depression is a smart move. At Family Guidance Center we can help you find the treatment which will be most effective in dealing with your depression. Call us today and take the first step toward a better quality of life.

Social Anxiety is More Than Feeling Nervous

Ignoring Social Anxiety Can Lead to Other Mental Health Challenges

social anxietyWhile most people feel nervous or even scared to be in front of a group of people, those feelings are not the same as social anxiety. Worry about how you’ll appear to others or how you will perform in front of others is a common and natural emotion. Social anxiety includes those things, but it goes beyond the infrequent butterflies of social demands. Anxiety goes hand in hand with the overwhelming conviction that you will fail or be judged negatively. It isn’t just worry, it’s the inner certainty that somehow you just are not good enough.

For the person with this form of anxiety, the fear of experiencing failure or rejection is overpowering enough to cause physical symptoms like sweating, headaches, rapid heartbeat, muscle twitching, stomach ache or dizziness. Those symptoms, while unpleasant don’t seem overly concerning in themselves, however, the desire to avoid them is what makes this kind of anxiety problematic.

The desire to avoid such experiences often leads a person to withdraw from healthy social interaction. If you are dreading every place where you might become the center of attention, you find ways to escape those situations. Pretty soon, you begin avoiding situations where you might be noticed. The social isolation frequently leads to depression.

Social anxiety is not a rare condition. It affects 15 million adult Americans. The symptoms usually begin around age 13 – a time when insecurities are common. More than one-third of those with social anxiety wait 10 years or longer to seek out help. By then, the condition has usually become highly disruptive in terms of everyday living.

If your fear of being judged harshly seems to control where you go and what you do, it’s time to do something about it. Call the Family Guidance Center, we can help. Ignoring your anxiety will only make things worse.

Many Veterans With PTSD Also Experience Severe Depression

PTSD Alongside Major Depression Ups Soldier’s Risks for Anger Problems

Combined symptoms from comorbid conditions can intensify those symptoms and the individual’s health risks. When the individual is a soldierPTSD experiencing PTSD and depression, it can create anger issues. The American Psychiatric Association has recently released findings from a study which finds that veterans who have PTSD plus serious depression show more signs of anger and themselves feel they may be at greater risk for acting out in dangerous ways.

The University of California, Irvine study examined health information on 254 female and 1,823 male soldiers who had served in Afghanistan and/or Iraq and then looked for support on base. Intake histories categorized the soldiers as experiencing either: major depression alone, PTSD alone, both PTSD and major depression or neither. In addition, healthcare professionals made note of any anger symptoms of verbalizations regarding harmful intent. Looking through the data, researchers found that a comorbid diagnosis of major depression and PTSD held the greatest risk for heightened anger and potential violent outbursts.

Since over 70 percent of those who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD also met the criteria for major depression, this is not at all a rare combination. Other studies confirm that anger is a common problem under these circumstances. Finding a way to address this issue is important.

Even if you are not a veteran, you may still be living with symptoms that leave you feeling at the mercy of intense emotions. If you have PTSD or major depression, anger can be a chronic concern. At Family Guidance Center we can help you to confront all of these symptoms and we can give you tools to manage them rather than having them control you. Call us or stop by soon.

Unemployed Young Adults Face Significantly Higher Risk for Depression

How and Why Unemployment and Depression Are Linked

depressionFor many, perhaps even most, 18-25 year olds life is full of fun and promise. But for some, these are years that can bring enormous challenges including trouble gaining steady employment and the darkness of depression. Investigation into national data on this population at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia found that lack of employment posed a triple risk for depression in young adults.

A Link is Not a Cause
Although the researchers found connection between being unemployed and being depressed, that is not the same thing as saying that one circumstance caused the other. Which came first – is it unemployment that triggers depression or does depression make it more difficult to become employed? All that researchers can say definitively is that there is a connection between the two for young people.

A Threefold Risk
The investigators used information collected in the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System – an assessment tool for identifying and quantifying behaviors which act as health risks. The study focused on collected data for 18-25 year olds specifically their work status and depression scores. They found that nearly a quarter of surveyed young people (23 percent) were unemployed and 12 percent were depressed. Therefore, the chances of depression appeared to be threefold greater when young people were without work.

Treatment Can Turn Things Around
The good news is that depression is treatable. Treating depression could make an impact on employment opportunities and reverse a downward trajectory. At Family Guidance Center young people can learn skills for overcoming depression, skills that will enhance their job prospects and perhaps, even, job performance. If this is you, please call us or stop by today. Life can take a dramatic turn when you choose to address your depression.