Lisa Sparrow is an inspirational woman. She sat with me for an hour on my blogtalk radio show, On Why Yet’s Watch, and was completely open about her daily battle with mental illness. That in itself is bravery in my book. Mental illness is such a touchy topic to speak on because growing up we (as a society) were taught to only speak of such things in the house – especially when it pertained to a relative or close loved one. Lisa shared her story with our listeners and I am truly grateful.
Depression is the most common form of mental illness that people are familiar with. There is NO one single cause of depression. There can be a combination of causes that can trigger depression:
- Trauma – a serious trauma that occurs early in life can change our brain’s response mechanism.
- Genetics – mood disorders and risk of suicide tend to run in families but anyone with a genetic tendency would be more likely to show signs of depression at an early age
- Life Circumstances – marital status, financial standing, where you live could all influence or trigger depression
- Brain Structure – depression is associated with changing how your brain responds to hormone stimulation
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse – 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have depression
16 million Americans had a least one major depressive episode last year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression. Young adults aged 18-25 are 60% more likely to experience depression than people aged 50 and over. Unfortunately, Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be misdiagnosed.
There are many forms of treatment:
- Brain Stimulation Therapies
- Light Therapy
- Alternative Therapies
- Self Management Strategies and Education
- Mind/Body/Spirit approaches
Should you or someone you know suffer from depression or believe you do, seek help. There is strength in asking for help because we all need help at one time or another. For more information about depression and some of the causes of depression check out the following websites:
To listen to the interview with Lisa Y Sparrow, listen to On Why Yets Watch with Author Lisa Y Sparrow
There is nothing to be ashamed of when dealing with ourselves or a loved one who battles mental illness.