Understanding Depression, Anxiety and Suicide prevention

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Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability. Often go hand in hand. Depression can make anxiety worse (and vice/versa) Important to recognize both conditions.

By Estella Shields

1 Understanding Depression, Anxiety and Suicide prevention

2 A little about me….ExperienceBackgroundEducationCurrent employment

3 Why talk about depression?
Recent surveys suggest, according to Mental Health America1 in 5 teens suffers from Clinical DepressionEach year almost 5,000 young people (ages 15-24) commit suicideRate has tripled since 1960 – 3rd leading cause of death in adolescents and 2nd leading cause of death among college age

4 What is Depression?Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments.Depression is different from normal sadness by:Engulfing your day-to-day life,Interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun.The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.

5 Common Signs and Symptoms
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessnessLoss of interest in daily activitiesAppetite or weight changesSleep changesAnger or irritabilityLoss of energySelf-loathingReckless behaviorConcentration problemsUnexplained aches and pains

6 Changes in behavior and thinking
These may include:General slowing downNeglect of responsibilities and appearancePoor memoryInability to concentrate or think clearlySuicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviorsDifficulty making decisionsNegative attitude and outlook

7 Depression in teens Some appear sad – most appear irritable
Poor performance in schoolWithdrawal from friends and activitiesAnger/rageOverreaction to criticismSuicidal thoughtsPoor self-esteem or guiltSubstance abuse or acting out to avoid feelings

8 Risk factors Loneliness Lack of social support
Recent stressful life experienceFamily historyEarly childhood trauma/abuseSubstance abuseHealth problems or chronic pain

9 Link between anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerabilityOften go hand in handDepression can make anxiety worse (and vice/versa)Important to recognize both conditions

10 Anxiety Some anxiety and worry is normal.
These normal amounts of anxiety can actually help you respond to threats and feel motivated to get things done.

11 Symptoms of anxiety Emotional symptoms of anxiety
Feelings of apprehension or dreadTrouble concentratingFeeling tense and jumpyAnticipating the worstIrritabilityRestlessnessWatching for signs of dangerFeeling like your mind’s gone blank

12 Physical symptoms of anxiety
Pounding heartSweatingStomach upset or dizzinessFrequent urination or diarrheaShortness of breathTremors and twitchesMuscle tensionHeadachesFatigueInsomnia

13 What is an Anxiety attack?
Surge of overwhelming panicFeeling of losing control or going crazyHeart palpitations or chest painFeeling like you’re going to pass outTrouble breathing or choking sensationHyperventilationHot flashes or chillsTrembling or shakingNausea or stomach crampsFeeling detached or unreal

14 What causes an anxiety attack?
Playing the ‘what if’ game – negative self talk which sets us up for failurePoor self esteem – thinking not worthyToo much pressure to be perfectFocusing too much on self vs. othersEating poorly – too much caffeineNot exercisingFull exposure to phobiasHolding in feelings

15 Questions to ask yourself?
Do you make time each day for yourself?Are you getting the emotional support that you need?Are you taking care of your body?Are you overloaded with responsibility?Do you ask for help when you need it?Do you know how to bring your life into balance?

16 Professional treatment is recommended for depression and anxiety.

17 TreatmentMedicationAntidepressants can help ease the symptoms of depression and return a person to normal functioning. Antidepressants are not habit forming.

18 Therapy/CounselingThis can help many depressed people understand themselves and cope with their problems.For example:Interpersonal therapy works to change relationships that effect depressionCognitive-behavioral therapy helps people change negative thinking and behavior patterns

19 Strategies… Challenge negative thoughts Write down your worries
Create an anxiety worry periodAccept uncertaintyTake care of yourselfPractice relaxation techniquesAdopt healthy eating habitsExercise regularlyGet enough sleep

20 Things to Avoid Don’t assume things are hopeless or will never change
Don’t engage in “emotional reasoning” (i.e.: because I feel awful, my life is terrible)Don’t assume responsibility for events which are outside of your controlDon’t blame yourself for others’ feelings or behaviorDon’t use drugs or alcohol to “self-medicate”

21 What about you? Burns Depression checklist
What do the results mean for you?

22 Intervening with a depressed friend
Be empathetic and understandingDon’t try to “cheer up” a depressed person by minimizing their concernsAvoid critical or shaming statementsEmpathize with feelings of sadness, grief, anger and frustration, but…Challenge expressions of hopelessness

23 Don’t argue about how bad things are
Don’t insist that depression or sadness are the wrong feelings to be experiencingDon’t become angry even though your efforts may be resisted or rejected

24 Common misconceptions about Suicide
FALSE – People who talk about suicide won’t really do itFALSE – People who talk about or attempt suicide want to dieFALSE – Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazyFALSE – If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop themFALSE – Talking about suicide may give someone the idea

25 Suicide warning signsTalking, writing, or joking about suicide or deathGiving away prized possessionsMaking final arrangementsDepressive symptomsSudden, unexplained recovery from profound depressionMarked feelings of helplessness or hopelessness

26 Risk-taking behaviorSelf-mutilating behavior (sometimes)A suicide planSignificant change in behaviorPrevious suicide attemptsSignificant lossChemical (drug or alcohol) abuse

27 What NOT to say… “This will make you stronger” “Time heals all wounds”
“ I know how you feel”“It could be worse”“It will work itself out”

28 Suicide Intervention Dont’s
Don’t minimize the person’s feelings or situationDon’t leave the person alone if they have a plan and/or lethal meansDon’t use reverse psychology with suicidal peopleDon’t try to be a hero – GET HELP!Don’t promise to keep the secret – PROMISE HELP!Don’t argue about the “right to suicide”

29 How to help LISTEN Show empathy and concern
Offer to call or talk to a parent, counselor, or other trusted adult with themEncourage them to get ongoing help for their depressionIf they are immediately at-risk, call a suicide hotline or 911

30 “I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one’s own attitude, no matter how difficult the situation.”Dalai Lama

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