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National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week: Indicators of potential depression relapse

05-10-17 Category: Mental Health

National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week: Indicators of potential depression relapse

Mental disorders like depression can be debilitating illnesses, therefore, considering the gravity of the problem, it is important that stakeholders understand them well and patients are treated properly and on time. Depression is a pervasive mental health problem that affects roughly 15 million people, aged 18 years and above, in the United States during any given period, as per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). In some cases, people get to experience symptoms of depression only once in their lives. However, there are others who complain of recurring bouts of the disorder. In such a situation, timely intervention helps in complete recovery and prevents complexities due to non-availability of treatment.

It takes a while to get rid of depression as the disorder may strike more than once. For some, the disorder may be chronic or acute resulting in several episodes of relapse or recurrence. According to previous studies, most depressed people would suffer from four to five bouts of depression in their lives. Clinicians define relapse as another instance of depression that strikes within six months of treatment.

Need to be alert about depression recurrences

To spread awareness about the need of treatment for anxiety and depression, the “National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week” is observed from May 7 to May 13 in the U.S. It stresses on the prevalence of anxiety and depression and their serious effects if left untreated. Looking at the fact that anxiety disorders affect an estimated 18 percent of the U.S. population, as per the ADAA, the need of the hour is to educate Americans about various anxiety disorders that they may suffer from and the need to seek expert advice.

It is necessary for patients with depression and their loved ones, to stay alert to any changes in the emotional state of such patients to ensure that they do not suffer a relapse. Following are some of the warning signs of depression relapse that one may take note of to prevent exacerbation of the disorder:

  • More than mere sadness: Depression is more than just a brief spell of sadness. It is in fact prolonged grief coupled with extreme forms of anxiousness. Everyday incidents like being unemployed for a short spell of time or conflict in a relationship might cause someone to feel sad. But if the same feelings of hopelessness and inability to carry out daily activities persist, then the affected must be careful lest it may be a sign of a depression relapse. In addition, if such feelings interfere in the way of daily life, chances are that the person needs to be checked for any recurring episode of depressive disorder.
  • Isolation and ceasing to participate in any activity: When depression strikes, people tend to withdraw from loved ones and daily activities. It is not the same as choosing to live a solitary life or being a recluse. Sometimes people who are full of life or trying to recover from depression start to withdraw due to their low feelings. What they fail to realize is that the more they live alone, the greater are chances of depression revisiting their lives. Avoiding social contact is a common problem one faces when slipping into depression. Some might even drink to mask their feelings of anxiousness stemming from depression.
  • Changes in sleep habits: Gradual changes in sleep habits like an inability to sleep or sleeping for long hours could be a symptom of hidden depression. It is necessary for those who suffered from depression in the past to discuss with their doctors about current problems of insomnia or excessive sleeping.
  • Mood swings: A slight change of routine or plans can make people with depression feel upset that can trigger unwarranted anger. Depressed people tend to be irritable, always on the verge of anger, exhibiting a sense of edginess or frustration due to their incessant sadness. Most people fail to look at it as a potential sign of depressive disorder, especially, in children.

Understand depression, seek medical help

Understanding that one is suffering from depression and accepting it goes a long way in aiding the recovery process. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment of depression once does not guarantee lifelong recovery and loved ones of depressed people must continue to be alert to any possible signs of relapse.

Sovereign Health is a leading care provider of all major mental health conditions in the U.S. Our residential depression treatment centers are located in all major places in the country. For more information about inpatient treatment programs for depression or therapies for depression, call at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online for a quick resolution.

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