Musings on When to Seek Professional Help

Generally speaking, we do not worry about a bad day or two, or transient emotional discomfort. Life has its ups and downs, and life has "flat tires" on occasion which we deal with, cope with, and move on. Those times do not mean someone has to seek professional help. But instead, the question is when someone should look for help?

There is not a clear answer for everyone. But, I think sooner is better than later. Getting feedback from someone close to you is helpful. Ask a friend or family member and see what they say. Momentary and minor changes may not be anything to cause worry. However, changes in functioning and relationships that persist and are noted by people close to us do deserve attention.


Don’t Let Depression Go Untreated

Depression is an immense health issue. It’s the number one psychiatric disorder in the western world, and according to the World Health Organization, affects 300 million people globally. It’s growing in all age groups and communities so fast that if it continues to increase at its current rate, it will be the second most disabling condition in the world by 2020, just behind heart disease. Plus, depression is the leading cause of presenteeism in the U.S.

About half of people suffering from depression do not get the treatment they so desperately need. Of those who do seek treatment, most improve significantly and experience more engaged and productive lives. Many treatment options can lead to improved quality of life.

The standard of care is to find remission of symptoms and have persistent improvement in the quality of life.


Tend Your Garden and Cultivate Your Brain to Thrive

While I'm a psychiatrist by trade, I do have a bit of a green thumb when it comes to gardening—growing vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees. Sometimes I have been successful, but many times my results were less than fruitful. However, over my 30+ years in private practice, doing inpatient psychiatry and nearly eight years providing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy, I have concluded that humans are much like plants in a garden. We are living at attempting to thrive.

Have you ever had a struggling plant that did better when you placed it in a different part of the garden? Likewise, do you know someone that felt better when they made a job or relationship change?

Just like there are many types of gardens utilized for various purposes from food, aesthetics or medicinal, there are many types of people who all have different needs, but share similarities when it comes to the human brain.


Top 5 Supplements for Anxiety and Depression

For Consumers Still Affected by Unsettling Economy
Since 2013, when consumers experienced repercussions from the worst recession in 70 years, including soaring unemployment rates financial stress, treatment for Anxiety and Depression have risen. Financial stress takes its toll on our nervous system, and perhaps not surprisingly, even on brain functions.

Anxiety and depression seem to be a little more common in terms of what I've seen in the past six to 12 months. It’s easy enough to equate it with what's happening in the economy," said Naturopathic physician Dr. Michael Smith, ND, at Carolinas Natural Health Center in Matthew, N.C.


Help for US Military Service Members and Their Families

The Military's Truth About Depression - A Video
Video: 3:04

A Different Type of Battle for This Navy man

This is a real story. The battle lines are in the mind of this Active Duty Military man. No names or identifying information is used, and this story was previously published by the author.

“I wasn't really sure where to post this but I figured this was probably as good as any other. This is also my first post so please bear with me.

“I am in active duty military, the Navy, and things just seem so bad right now. I wish I could say that this was from PTSD from a warzone or something, but it's not and that makes me feel even worse or more guilty. I did do a tour in Iraq a few years ago but I don't think I really saw anything that would make me feel like this, I don't know.

“My wife left me. I think that is what really sent me into the dark place I am right now. I have two children that I miss more than anything. I miss all of us being a family together. Looking back now I think I may have suffered from depression before she left and that was one of things that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. There were times when she wanted me to lay with her or spend time with her or just touch her and I didn't do any of that. 


Students Experiencing Depression

Take an Active Role in Treatment for Depression
It’s finals time for students. And that means increased incidences of depression. A depressed student may feel that he/she will not complete his/her studies like everyone else. The fatigue, the powerlessness and the lack of concentration that accompany depression also reduce the student's ability to function.

In this way, depression affects students’ academic performance and their ability to take action. Even those who are in treatment are affected. But students CAN help themselves.

Many College Students Experience Depression

According to their own estimation, 53% of American college students suffer from depression during their studies. Over half of those who experience depression state that problems related to studying are the most important depression-inducing factor. Therefore, there is a close connection between depression and difficulties with studying.