Park Royal Behavioral Services Reveals Seven Myths

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Aug 22, 2013

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Florida - Southwest

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About Depression
Although depression affects 1 in 10 Americans, there are still a number of misconceptions. Here are some common myths about depression and the real facts.
Myth: Depression doesn't affect me.
Fact: 10% of the total population and 15% of older adults have been diagnosed with depression. This means that someone in your life (maybe you) will face depression at
some point.
Myth: Depression is not a real medical problem.
Fact: Depression is a real and serious condition. It is no different than diabetes or heart disease in its ability to impact someone's life.
Myth: Depression is something that strong people can snap out of.
Fact: No one chooses to be depressed. People with depression cannot just snap out of their depression any more than someone with diabetes or heart disease can.
Myth: Depression only happens when something bad happens in your life.
Fact: Depression is more than just having occasional sad thoughts. Prolonged periods of hopelessness, sadness, and lack of interest in things someone usually enjoys are symptoms of depression.
Myth: Depression will just go away on its own.
Fact: While for some people, depression may go away without treatment; this is not usually the case. The good news is that most people get better with treatment.
Myth: Antidepressants will change your personality.
Fact: The thought of taking medicine can be scary. Most people who take antidepressants are actually happy to feel like themselves again. It is best to speak with your doctor about the effects of antidepressants.
Myth: Talking about depression only makes it worse.
Fact: While it is easy to understand why someone might be worried about discussing their depression, being alone with your thoughts is even more harmful.
Fact: Depression is a serious illness, but most people get better with help.

To learn more about your treatment options call Park Royal Behavioral Services at 239-985-2760.

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Beating the Summertime Blues

Sometimes I wonder what Im a-gonna to doCause there aint no cure for the summertime blues.In 1959, Eddie Cochran penned and performed this catchy song. Little did he likely realize he had coined a phrase describing a real mental/emotional issue. Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this form of depression is usually associated with winter, but approximately 10-30% of people are affected during warmer months the summertime blues.It is uncertain as to why this seasonal reversal happens, but there could be several contributing factors such as:abrupt schedule changes with less structureuncomfortable heat/humidityabsence of friends and family due to vacationschanges in brain chemistrycultural pressure to feel light-hearted and happynegative body image issues due to more skin exposure or bathing suit requirementssleep pattern disruption from longer days and shorter nightsNo matter the exact reasons, feelings of sadness in the summer do happen. Consider these helpful tips towards addressing and combatting them:Establish a summer routine as best you can. Accept that it may undergo additional changes, and that is OK.Incorporate exercise in your day, even if it is gentle, like stretching or chair movement.Get enough sleep. If possible, keep the same bedtime schedule. Allow yourself time to wind down, even if it is light outside, or consider using a sleep mask. You also can try earplugs if your neighborhood is noisy or other family members are still up and active.Stay hydrated. Water is often overlooked as a factor of fatigue and negative emotions. Try keeping a glass by the sink or a water bottle in the car or carry one with you while going about your day.Choose healthy foods that will nourish and feel good in your body.Keep a tab on how much you are isolated. Try to engage in activities with others some specific suggestions below!* Protect yourself from heat and glare with sunglasses, hats and lightweight clothing.* Be kind to yourself. Identify your triggers and reflect on ways to overcome them.* Show yourself compassion and give yourself space to adapt, process and grow.At Kavod Senior Life, we provide opportunities for both community members and residents alike to stay engaged and protect from depression, SAD or otherwise. These include gathering for healthy meals (once a day in Senior Living, three times a day in Assisted Living), or participating in activities, outdoor gardening, and spiritual programs including mindfulness and coffee chats with our chaplain. Residents can also talk to our staffed Care Coordinators (like social workers) to get additional help and connect with resources. We also have supportive health and wellness classes and services such as yoga, dancing and more. If you are struggling with SAD and are local to Denver, we welcome you to Kavod to participate with us and keep yourself emotionally healthy. We hope this information and our resources will help you have an enjoyable, positive summer and chase away those troublesome blues. For more information, please call 303-399-1146.

Depression in Seniors is Often Overlooked

We all feel blue sometimes, and thats OK. But when sadness and other symptoms interfere with our daily living, it might be something to address.As we age, we may be at increased risk for depression, but this treatable medical condition is not necessarily a normal part of getting older. Depression is not a character flaw. It is not a weakness. It is not your fault. It is an illness. While major life events such as bereavement can trigger it, depression is different from the negative feelings from a difficult life event. Depression causes feelings that are intense, chronic and out of proportion to circumstances. Depression can last for several weeks, months or years, often becoming a chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension that requires treatment. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.Undiagnosed depression can have a physical toll. The National Institutes of Health says that adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms have a 64% higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than those without depression. Some people might be prone to depression due to their genetics, but there is no single cause of depression in older adults. The National Council on Aging lists these as some additional risk factors:         Chronic conditions (about 80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, per the CDC)         Decreased functional ability         Reduced mobility         Chronic pain         Financial issues         Elder abuse         Caregiver stress         Lack of physical activity         Loneliness Symptoms of depression may differ across cultures, as well as by sex/gender. For instance, according to the Mayo Clinic, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. In men, depression often shows up as anger or irritability. Furthermore, symptoms of depression are often different from those in younger people. Sadness is not always the main symptom. It can be a feeling of numbness or lack of interest in activities, which is often attributed to age. Mental health professionals and healthcare providers may sometimes mistake symptoms as reactions to illness or life changes.There are several reasons why depression may be missed. Older adults may be isolated, with few around to notice their symptoms or distress. Also, many do not realize that physical pain can sometimes indicate depression. In addition, we may feel stigma admitting to mental health problems and may be reluctant to talk about feelings and ask for help. Certain medications and medical illnesses can bring on depression or have similar symptoms.As a result, it is important to understand the signs, symptoms and consequences of depression. According to the CDC, here are some of the potential symptoms of depression:         Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism         Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness         Anxiety and worry         Irritability, restlessness         Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable         Fatigue and decreased energy         Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions         Insomnia, earlymorning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping         Overeating or appetite loss         Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts         Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment.         Memory problems         Lack of motivation and energy         Slowed movement and speech         Neglecting personal care (skipping meals, forgetting meds, neglecting personal hygiene). Throughout our lives, we are told that lifestyle changes can improve health and wellness, including mental health. Meditation, breathing exercises and exercise can help people of any age.According to the National Institute on Aging, we can also lower the risk of depression by:         Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night         Avoiding isolation and staying connected with friends and family         Doing activities that make them happy         Telling family, friends or a healthcare provider if they are developing depressive symptoms. Depression is easier to treat before it escalates. Health professionals can rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing symptoms of depression such as dementia, Parkinsons disease, heart disease or medication interactions. A primary care doctor can also screen for signs of depression and recommend treatment that might include medication, therapy or a combination of both.Many people with mild to moderate depression respond to psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, which teaches new ways of thinking and behavior, and changing habits that might contribute to depression. Finding the right medication to treat depression is similar to treating some other illnesses; it might take time to find the right medicine, particularly with age-related changes to metabolism and drug interactions. The most important thing to know if you feel you or someone you know may be suffering from depression is you are not alone. Depression can be treated. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Courtney L. Whitt, Ph.D. is Director of Behavioral Health at Healthcare Network, which offers behavioral health services as a routine part of comprehensive care and traditional counseling services. Healthcare Network provides quality primary care services for children and adults in locations throughout Collier County. To learn more or make an appointment, please call 239.658.3000 or visit HealthcareSWFL.org.

5 Reasons Why Spiritual Support Improves Quality of Life for Seniors

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