This month, Time Magazine reported on a comprehensive study led by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that provided us with insightful new information on depression and depression treatment: From 2009-2012, Americans were surveyed across the nation; out of those surveyed, a reported 8% of people over 12 years old recently reported being depressed. The study also found that women suffer from higher rates of depression than men. This may be the result of the societal pressures women feel to effortlessly balance work, family, activities and social obligations.
However, the biggest revelation this study found is the alarmingly low percentage of individuals who actually seek depression treatment. Depression is a very common mental health disorder with an increasingly high treatment success rate, and yet, only 35% of individuals with severe depression actually sought professional help.
Severe depression is more than a case of the blues. If left untreated, symptoms of depression can become more complicated and trigger the development of other disorders such as anxiety issues or substance abuse.
Seeking professional help for mental health issues is incredibly important as we welcome in the winter months because depression often worsens throughout the holidays and into the following months. Triggered by the reduction in sunshine and increasingly cold weather, winter depression is a very real problem, and is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The American Family Physician reports that SAD affects roughly 4 to 6 percent of the population, and is four times more common in women than men.
Along with regular psychotherapy and if necessary, medication, many studies have found that spending time outdoors, taking a vacation, getting regular exercise and spending time with friends and family can improve symptoms of depression and seasonal depression.
This winter, Brookhaven Retreat encourages any woman who finds herself struggling with depression, whether it is seasonal or year-round, to seek help and regain control of their emotional and mental health. Life can be enjoyable and you can find passion and hope again- but first you must seek help.