Four Simple Ways to Find Help for This Dreary Disorder

  • Are you experiencing “high functioning” symptoms of this disorder? Find out today…
  • Four risk factors you shouldn’t ignore. Learn more…
  • Plus, four easy tips to get the help you need without the hassle.

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

“It’s like that feeling you get on the last day of summer when you’re a kid. You’re just sad enough to know you’re not happy… And just anxious enough that you can’t sleep… And you’re never quite comfortable… Except it doesn’t go away…”

This is what a patient said to me while I was working on a psychiatric unit a few years back.

The patient — we will call her Kathleen — was 47 and the CEO of a marketing group. By most standards, she was considered a very successful woman. She had a great career, a home in an affluent neighborhood, two kids, and a husband who was a dentist.

In fact, she had the kind of life that other folks may envy.

But Kathleen didn’t see it this way.

For the four years leading up to her admission to the psychiatric unit, she had been experiencing feelings of anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, and general discontent with her life. She also had been battling insomnia, fatigue, and agitation.

Yet she was still going to work every day, paying her bills, and taking care of her family.

You see, Kathleen seemed to be suffering from what some mental health professionals see as a “high functioning” form of depression.

This means that even though you can navigate your way through daily tasks and functions, you’re still experiencing feelings of misery, helplessness, and emptiness.

Actually, Kathleen went undiagnosed for many years because she didn’t recognize she was suffering from depression.

It wasn’t until she was admitted to the hospital for an infection that her doctor recognized she was depressed.

She told me, “I thought I was just a sad person. Since I was able to maintain a normal semblance of life, I figured this was just a normal way for a busy adult to feel — sad, overwhelmed, and anxious.”

However, after talking to a mental health professional, she began to realize her feelings were symptoms of depression.

We will share some tips on how to find a mental health professional in just a moment. First, let’s take a look at some numbers, risk factors, and symptoms…

--A Growing Epidemic

The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people suffer from depression.1 However, it’s likely there are more people experiencing depression but not reporting it.

In 2014, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that here in the U.S., 15.7 million adults suffered from at least one major depressive episode.2

And it seems that this number is growing…

In fact, depression is so widespread that according to the CDC, major depression is expected to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020 — taking a back seat only to heart disease.3

OK, so now that we know depression is a serious and common condition, let’s talk about some of its risk factors and symptoms.

Some risk factors may increase your chances of experiencing depression. These include:

  • Family history of depression
  • Certain chronic illnesses and medications
  • Major life changes and stress — moving, changing jobs, relationship status changes
  • Trauma — deaths, accidents, loss.

Depression symptoms include:

  • Prolonged feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Overwhelming feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Unable to find pleasure in activities or interactions
  • Sleep disturbances — oversleeping, early-morning awakening, or restlessness
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Weight and appetite changes
  • Chronic physical symptoms
  • Inability to complete activities of daily living
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Suicide attempts.

As with most diseases, not everyone will experience all symptoms. Some will experience just a few, while others may experience many. Also, symptoms and severity can change over time. It’s important to remember that symptoms may change depending on the phase of depression. For depression to be diagnosed, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.5

Even in the depths of these symptoms, some folks are able to maintain a functional life — like Kathleen. So it’s important to check in with your feelings and with others to get a good gauge on how you’re doing.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek professional help. Here are a few tips to get you started…

--Call or Click

To find a mental health professional, contact your insurance provider.

You can usually find a mental health benefits number on the back of your insurance card. It may read “MH/SA” before the number. An insurance professional will be able to link you with an approved provider. If you prefer to skip the human element, you can always search your insurance’s website for mental health information.

If you are uninsured or don’t have mental health benefits, most health departments can give you a mental health referral. You may call or simply show up and ask for mental health information. Click here to find a public health department near you.

But perhaps the easiest way to get in touch with a mental health provider is to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline. They offer free and confidential help for people or families facing mental health and substance abuse issues. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offer information in both English and Spanish.

You can call the helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). Click here to check out their website.

If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s available 24 hours every day. Click here to check out their website.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

P.S. Would you like Living Well Daily to include more mental health content? If so, submit your ideas or questions to nmoore@lfb.org.


Sources

[1] Depression

[2] Major Depression Among Adults

[3] Mental Health Basics

[4] The Vital Link Between Chronic Disease and Depressive Disorders

[5] Depression

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 10 Tips to Conquer Spinal Arthritis

I have arthritis in my spine. What would you suggest to help manage it? –George from Cedar Rapids, IA George, Believe it or not, many people learn that they have spinal arthritis as they age. It’s very common. There’s a lot you can do to help keep it from advancing or even reverse some of...

Read This

Calm Anxiety WITHOUT Drugs (Easy!)

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There is a plague of anxiety sweeping the nation. And who could blame us? Anyone with half a brain SHOULD feel anxious about the state of the world. But like any other epidemic, just because something is going around doesn’t mean you should accept it. More importantly, having anxiety does...

Read This

“Food Reboot” HALTS Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you or someone you love suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), you already know how the disease can turn your life upside down. The stiffness and mobility problems slowly strip away your independence… and leave you in pain. Talk to your mainstream doc and he’ll just shrug their shoulders –...

Read This

[Men] Do You Have the Breast Cancer Gene?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re a woman, chances are you have heard about the BRCA gene (BReast CAncer gene). Scientists have known for a long time that a mutation in one of two breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, increases the risk of getting breast cancer. But, men, listen up – just because...

Read This

Greek Plant Extract SOOTHES Joint Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some people might shrug when you tell them you have knee pain… but that’s only if they haven’t experienced firsthand. Chronic pain from osteoarthritis is no joke— it can destroy your life. Joint pain makes moving incredibly difficult and can keep you from doing the things you love. Before you know it,...

Read This

Deadly Disease 8 TIMES More Likely for Crohn’s Patients

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Inflammation is supposed to be a normal response for your body. It’s one of the key defenses protecting you. Inflammation can sometimes be our friend… when it helps fight off infections and clears away debris, that is. The problems start when inflammation blazes out of control or lasts longer than...

Read This

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 5 Ways to Soothe Your Psoriasis

I have psoriasis, and I was wondering what supplements or natural treatments there are out there. –Bill from Riverside, CA Bill, As you probably know, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body attacks the skin as if it were a foreign invader. Psoriasis affects about two percent of the U.S. population. Normal, healthy...

Read This

Coffee Compound LOWERS Cholesterol

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’m on a personal mission to rescue coffee from the hands of the nutritional puritans who think that anything fun is not good for you. Despite what the mainstream would have you believe, the news on coffee has improved in recent years. Researchers have pinpointed many powerful plant nutrients, like...

Read This

“Citric Element” Whips Your Brain into Shape!

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some suggest pretty complicated ways to keep your brain healthy as you age. Going back to college… doing complicated puzzles… taking what feels like 30 bottles of pills a day… It can make you feel like giving up before you’ve even started! But what if there was something MUCH easier...

Read This

100-Year-Old Trick STOPS Arthritis Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re tired constantly refilling pain prescriptions, you’re not alone. And if you’re even MORE tired of the side effects that come with them, who could blame you? For far too long, Big Pharma has held arthritis patients hostage… promising relief while they rob you blind. It’s time for something...

Read This