Please join me in welcoming this guest post to Una Vita Bella, for a very important cause that is near and dear to my heart!
Give a Click for Depression Awareness Month
What better time to spread awareness about depression than Depression Awareness Month. October is not just for Halloween anymore. It is also a time to highlight the long arm of depression in our communities.
There are many people who do not recognize the symptoms of depression, or where to find therapeutic resources if they do. The stigma attached to mood disorders is still stronger than our willingness to acknowledge how widespread the problem is. It remains an undiscussed elephant in the room.
Depression awareness will surely be a boon to people aged 65 and older. Although seniors made up 12% of the U.S. population in 2004, they accounted for 16% of deaths by suicide. That was a few years ago, but the numbers haven’t changed much.
My neighbor, Andrew, told me about his father. He said, “I was getting so angry and impatient with my dad. He’s almost 75 and still pretty fit, but all he did was sit and watch TV day after day. I even bought baseball tickets, and he refused to go; said he was too tired. I couldn’t believe it. My dad loves baseball.”
“That’s when I made an appointment for him to see his doctor. If baseball didn’t get him out of the house, something had to be very wrong. Turned out my dad has depression. Now that he’s on medication, he’s having better days, and putters around in the garden again.” Andrew was upset with himself for thinking his father was ready for assisted living, but that is a mistake even professional health care workers can make.
Though old age has its problems, it is wrong to assume all “strange” behaviors are related to the march of time. This is true for seniors, and those younger than 65. It is vital that people become more alert to signs of depression. The other day I saw Andrew’s father in Andrew’s back yard, playing catch with his grandson. Granddad is still a vital person with much to offer. It was good to see him enjoying life.
How You Can Help
Thank goodness there are people acting to extend the awareness of depression, and you can participate with one mouse click. Help for Depression, an extensive website resource, and a nonprofit called To Write Love On Her Arms, are working together this October, raising money to promote understanding of depression.
Go to the Help for Depression Facebook page and click the ‘Like’ button. For each new ‘Like’ given between October 1st through the 15th, $1.00 is added to their goal of raising $15,000.
Let’s help bring awareness to our schools, places of employment, nursing homes, and to our neighbors around the globe. Please support Depression Awareness Month; tell your friends and family about it.
About the Author
Jacqueline is a creative writer, published poet, and has an MA in counseling psychology. Her education is backed by 12 years experience as a licensed clinical counselor.
- Coping With Depression and Insomnia (everydayhealth.com)
- National Depression Screening Day is Today (psychcentral.com)
- Postpartum Voice of the Week: @zrecsmoms’ Missing a Friend Today (mypostpartumvoice.com)