Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
I have to be honest, I didn't know this was a thing. I knew that people died from overdose and things of that nature, but I had no idea that there was time that was set aside to bring awareness to this issue.
After doing some research and really doing a deep dive on the statistics I am floored. These statistics that are posted by Palm Health Care are alarming:
More than 300 million people suffer from depression globally
Approximately 16 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode in 2012
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18
10%-20% of new moms will experience postpartum depression
30% of college students report feeling depressed enough it disrupted their performance in school
50% of Americans with major depression don’t seek treatment
I realized that this definitely needs to be discussed more. And not just discussed, but we have to be willing to help our friends in need. Its obvious that we all don't have the answers, but the resources are prevalent.
The stat that bothers me the most, as always, is the stat regarding children. It is beyond alarming that children are suffering through any kind of mental illness. It has been researched and found that some children can be predisposed to some mental illnesses. Outside of that, I have become more and more concerned with what goes on in these children's lives to cause them to experience this ugly illness.
The last stat, which is the worst of all, is that 50% or Americans with major depression don't seek treatment. America has made tremendous strides over the last decade plus to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health. People like myself who seek to educate the masses and assist people in finding the proper resources for their illness are surging to the forefront. Sadly, this is not enough.
We can discuss it until we are blue in the face, but without any action, it is just good conversation. We have to start taking action. We have to ask the really tough questions and remember that this is a process. I. myself, took six months to begin to seek the help that I truly needed - that is six months from the time that I realized I needed help. I spent a lifetime in denial.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi
A while back I wrote an article on The Depression Tunnel and what depression kind of looks like for people who want to assist. Us folks who suffer through depression do not require a friendly helping hand. Standing at the end of that tunnel and encouraging me to come to the light is kind, but it is not helpful. We much more require the sleepover kind of friend, the one who will sit and wait, be patient and understanding. For more info, click the link above.
Additionally, we have to continue our diligent work in uprooting and abolishing the stigma that is attached to mental health and mental illness. We have to learn to take care of our WHOLE self and not just the aesthetic parts. Our body is only as strong as our mind. I have said it before and I will say it again, there are trained professionals waiting to provide the proper guidance and resources for you to beat the depression that you're experiencing, THE SAME WAY there are trained professionals who provide guidance and resources for you to beat a physical illness or injury. There is no difference.
Discovering that Antidepressant Death Awareness Month was an actual thing couldn't have been happenstance. I am thrilled to bring awareness to this issue and to shed light on those who struggle through this.
Antidepressants are a life-saver. I was also wrapped into the mindset that anti-depressants would turn you into a zombie, or they would have you all loopy and drooling all over the place or produce a version of yourself that is not normal - medicated. I have since learned that this is far from the case and that antidepressants, when taken under physicians care, can truly lessen the effects of depression and anxiety and firmly assist you in living a happy life.
Taking the right dosage of the right medication is supremely important. For some of us, we find the right one the first time. For some of us, we get lucky on the first try. For the rest of us, it takes a few different meds, which takes time, effort and patience. This process can be very frustrating, but it works.
My heart goes out to the people who grab a medication and roll with it and continue to try to do it on their own. The right medication alone will not prove to be the end all be all of your depression. It is strongly urged that you also maintain a relationship with a clinical therapist on terms that work for both of you. Finding the right therapist is also a process, in and of itself. This process is also very helpful.
I feel bad that so many people have lost their lives to antidepressant deaths but feeling bad is not enough. We have to take action and stand together to prevent these deaths from occurring.
Let's stand together.
Love & Light, Fam!