Depression and anxiety are two common experiences that can impact mental well-being. I don’t want to call them “conditions” or “illnesses” because somehow that means that these mood states are not “normal”. Depression may result when someone has experienced a loss of some type. The loss could be as devastating as the death of a family member, job termination, being diagnosed with cancer, or as “simple” as losing an object that one enjoys. Anxiety is typically characterized by fear, worry, or nervousness. We all have felt a degree of anxiety, perhaps before a final exam, a job interview, or a big performance. Most people experience these moods and then work through them. However, when depression and anxiety begin to impact a person’s life, this may signal a more serious medical condition.
Here are the two most important take home messages:
1) Mental illnesses are NOT the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing;
2) Mental illnesses are treatable.
Untreated clinical depression is a serious problem that can severely impact people’s live. It can cause problems at work and ruin relationships; it also increases risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol addiction. In fact, mental illness and drug addiction often occur together with many of the afflicted self-medicating with drugs to escape the reality of their mental illness. Something we really need to be cognizant of for our returning veterans.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this important issue; please comment below.
~One Drop of Knowledge Can Ripple Through an Entire Community