Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. While I do have a masters degree in counseling, the purpose of this blog is not to provide diagnosis or treatment for mental illness of any kind. The purpose of this blog is to offer tips on dealing with the frustrations of life. When it comes to your mental wellness, please seek professional counsel if you feel necessary.
Its a good good Thursday! I am always hyped about this day because I get to talk therapy. So pull up a sit, lean forward, and lets get it done!
As you all know from the previous blog, May is mental health awareness month. I am dedicating this time to speaking up and out about mental health concerns in the African American community. This week, I want to talk depression.
Depression is often misunderstood as unspeakable sadness. Many times it is linked to a lack of gratefulness, inability to pick yourself up by your “boot straps”, and lack of emotional self-control. This vocabulary is problematic and it is simply not true. It is more to depression than sadness.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines depression as serious mood disorder that causes severe changes in how you think, feel, and handle every day activities. It is often difficult for individuals with depression to maintain a job, engage in healthy relationships, and enjoy activities/ hobbies.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. between ages 15- 44 and it is more prevalent in women than men. While many might link this prevalence is due to the emotional nature of the woman, depression has no none cause. It can happen to anybody at any point in life. For this reason, it is important to recognize common symptoms.
A few common symptoms of depression are:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty mood”
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems without a clear psychical cause and or that do not ease even with treatment
Taken from National Institute of Mental Health
While this list is not exhaustive, and individuals who are depressed may not experience all these symptoms, they are important things for us to look our for in our own personal villages, and even within ourselves. Again as stated in the disclaimer, this is not a tool for diagnosis. If you feel these items relate to you, please get help. Reach out the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-237-TALK, speak with a loved one or friend, contact your Pastor or spiritual leader, call your medical provider or primary doctor, and lastly if it is a life threatening emergency DIAL 911.
I pray that conversations like these continue and encourage someone to reach out for help. Always remember that you don’t have to fight depression alone. Speak up and speak out!
Now to the amazing news!! I am so excited to bring Therapy Thursday’s to life. Starting in June, you can join me for an awesome event called L.I.F.E. I will be teaching psycho-educational classes on stress management, self-care, identify, and hurt. Click the picture below to sign up. Details on location and times coming soon. Can’t wait to see you guys there.
Shanithia “HyQuality” Kendrick