Thursday, January 12, 2012

Depression, Anxiety, & PTSD: Identifying the Need for Intervention

The mental health disorders known as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect approximately 1 in 10 people each year. Collectively, these conditions produce a multitude of symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, sadness, guilt, pessimism, fatigue, loss of appetite, and even thoughts of suicide. So it stands to reason that this particular issue is extremely serious when considering most families who have experienced a congenital heart defect could possibly suffer from one of these mental health disorders. And it’s no wonder so many people who deal with a CHD (either their own or a family member’s) on a daily basis may end up suffering from these mental health conditions: they must deal with the emotional stress of the CHD diagnosis, the treatments, the medical procedures, surgeries, and the constant worry about the life-long health of themselves (or their family member).
That being said, it becomes urgently important to be watchful of the family members who deal with a CHD. Be on the lookout for signs that someone may be suffering from one of the above-mentioned mental health conditions. For example, if you notice someone is avoiding others, seems chronically sad or always tired, expresses feelings of extreme guilt, worry, or if they seem overwhelmed or have ever mentioned harming themselves, then you know it’s time to intervene.




When you do suspect someone is indeed suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD, here are some suggested things you can do:







  • Do a little research (it never hurts to have plenty of information and resources if you plan on having any sort of intervention for someone who you feel is suffering)



  • Sit down with the person and talk (ask them how they feel, what they’re thinking, let them know you and others are worried about them, share the researched information you found)



  • Most importantly, encourage the person to seek help from a mental health professional (you can even offer to accompany them)



  • Let them know you are there for them (encourage daily phone calls or visits, offer to help them with daily chores, etc.)






Some resources that may be of help:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Depression/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml
http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder
http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/whiteside_lab/publications.cfm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teen-depression/DS01188

6 comments:

prozac and heart defects in babies said...

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From Panic To Peace said...

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male health said...

Depression and anxiety are the 2 worst enemies of humans. There symptoms are often hidden or sometimes we do not know we are already depressed or we know it but we keep on disregarding it.

ivorieseighty8 said...

I love that you did a post about this. I suffered from pretty debilitating PTSD and post partum depression after my daughter was born and spent 8 weeks in the hospital fighting for her life. I have NEVER once heard any other heart parent mention this though....sometimes I feel weak like I'm the only one. Thank you.

hand doctors bucks county said...

It is never a good feeling to feel helpless, depressed or anxious. Help yourself or others over come those feelings that can be seriously debilitating by seeking proper treatment, reaching out for support and developing new coping skills. It is essential that you take care of yourself and also get extra support. Thanks for the share!

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