National Mental Health Month focuses on helping depression

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

By JERRY LePRE-Managing Editor

LAPLACE – Everyday the average American faces many personal stressful situations. In addition to those challenges at home, national events, such as an uncertain economy and terror alerts can increase the feeling of anxiety and depression for many people. According to medical experts, personal relationship problems, financial difficulties and prolonged periods of stress can impact mental and physical wellness. Thus, May has been declared as National Mental Health Month.

“Too many people resist treatment for depression because they believe depression isn’t a serious problem or that it is a personal weakness,” Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on the psychology and the biology of depression said. ” The first step to wellness is understanding that depression is never a ‘normal’ part of life, no matter what your age, gender, or physical health situation.”

According to Dr. Wright, it is essential to help the public understand that depression can occur to anyone, at any age and to people of any race or ethnic group. In addition, experts agree depression can cause intense emotional pain and it can severely complicate other medical conditions.

“Sometimes people are afraid that getting treatment for depression will mean strong drugs or lengthy sessions with a therapist,” Dr. Wright said. “The truth is depression can be treated quickly and effectively. There have been incredible breakthroughs in helping people with depression. Newer more effective psychotherapies, safer and milder medications, and even self-help methods do exist. Don’t let fear of treatment stop you from seeking help. Therapy for depression is usually successful.”

If you are anyone in your family have symptoms of depression, www.GoodDays may offer information.