WHAT IS IT AND WHO IS AFFECTED – #BellLetsTalk
This series is in support of Bell Let’s Talk – an initiative focused on raising awareness and encouraging dialogue about mental health.
Reactions to frightening situations, such as nervousness, inability to sleep and to replay the event over in one’s mind are normal. These reactions usually subside over time, and the affected person(s) resume their normal activities without further disruption. Post-traumatic stress disorder lasts much longer and can leave a person or persons incapacitated.
PTSD is a mental illness that causes people to re-live the traumatic event, having vivid nightmares, flashbacks, or thoughts of the event that seem to come from nowhere. Often, individuals will go out of their way to avoid things or situations that remind them of the event. For example, survivors of an automobile accident might avoid driving, or travel, all together.
PTSD also affects the nervous system as individuals constantly feel ‘on edge,’ startle easily, have difficulty concentrating, feel irritable, and experience difficulty sleeping. They often experience a sense of foreboding, even when they are safe. Some people feel very numb and detach themselves from reality, disconnecting from their physical and mental self and have difficulty feeling emotions.
Without support and treatment, some people may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with PTSD
Certain occupations create a greater risk to individuals, and these individuals are more likely to find themselves in dangerous situations.
Military personnel, first responders (police, firefighters, and paramedics), doctors, and nurses experience higher rates of PTSD than other professions.
click to view previous post regarding PTSD – ‘United by Trauma.’
Not just a case of “the blues,” depression is a common mental disorder causing depressed mood, lack of interest or feelings of pleasure, guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. Everyone experiences unhappiness at one time or another, usually resulting from a particular cause.
Those experiencing depression are fighting feelings of severe desperation and hopelessness over an extended period. They experience intense emotions of anxiety, negativity, and helplessness. The illness affects almost every aspect of their life. Including their physical health, relationships and work.
For people with depression, there is no “light at the end of the tunnel” — there is just a long, dark tunnel
Depression can happen to anyone. It affects people of all ages and all walks of life. Many celebrities and successful people who seem to have everything going for them battle with this problem. Some individuals who experience depression will go through it only once. For others, it is recurring.
Living with depression is difficult for those who suffer from it and for their family, friends, and colleagues.
Depression can occur suddenly following a physical illness. It can come about as a result of experiences dating back to childhood, finding yourself unemployed or other life-changing events such as bereavement and family problems.
Identifying what affects you emotionally and the things that are likely to trigger depression is an important first step.
- lack of energy and feeling tired (all the time)
- feeling sad (all the time)
- loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
- strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- difficulty concentrating and functioning at work/school
- not experiencing pleasure in situations that used to entertain you
- feeling anxious (all the time)
- avoiding people – even family and close friends
- feeling helpless and hopeless
- difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking earlier than usual
- loss of appetite
- loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems
- physical aches and pains
- suicidal thoughts and acts of self-harm
The following are only a few of several types of depression:
Mild depression has a limited negative effect on someone’s daily life. They may have difficulty motivating themselves to do even the things normally enjoyed and concentrating on work.
Major depression drastically interferes with an individual’s day-to-day living: eating, sleeping, and other daily activities. Some people may experience only one episode, but it is more common to experience several episodes in a lifetime and can lead to hospital admission if the person is thought to be at risk of harming themselves.
Bi-polar disorder is extreme mood swings – from highs, where the individual feels on top of the world and indestructible, to lows, where they experience complete despair, lethargy, and thoughts of suicide.
It is not uncommon for people with severe symptoms to have difficulty making sense of their world. They may perform acts that seem odd or illogical
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or ‘winter blues’ is associated with the start of winter and can last until spring when longer days bring more daylight. SAD can make you feel anxious, stressed and depressed. As well as affecting your mood, it can also interfere with sleeping and eating patterns.
If you are concerned that you may be affected or know someone who is suffering, please speak with a professional; they can help.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 25, 2017. For every text message, tweet/retweet, IG and Facebook post using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives.
Thank you, Lisa, for showing me the light at the end of the tunnel!