As The Leaves Fall, Depression Rises

As summer comes to an end and the leaves start to turn those beautiful hues, many people see the deciduous plants and trees, with the leaves changing colors and falling away as a sign of things dying all around them. Combined with shorter days, and less natural sunlight, this can be a trigger for the onset of depression. Sound scary? It is. According to the National Institute of Mental Health one in five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. Clinical depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting more than 19 million Americans each year. This includes major depressive disorder, manic depression and dysthymia, a milder, longer-lasting form of depression.

Depression in Men

Although men are less likely to suffer from depression than women, 6 million men in the United States are affected by the illness. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and doctors are less likely to suspect it. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, though more women attempt it. In fact, after age 70, the rate of men’s suicide rises, reaching a peak after age 85. usually deal with depression by alcohol or drugs,or wind up working excessively long hours and essentially “hiding” away from everyone. Depression typically shows up in men not as feeling hopeless and helpless, but as being irritable, angry, and discouraged. Thats why it may be difficult to recognize a depressive episode in men. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, usually he will not seek help due to stereotypical concerns of being weak, lazy, whiny, or generally not “acting like a man.” Encouragement and support from concerned family members can make a huge difference.

Depression in Women
Many women are also particularly vulnerable after the birth of a baby. With hormonal and physical changes, the added responsibility, stress, these can all be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women. Recognizing the symptoms early can help immensely with emotional family support and seeking treatment by an understanding physician and aiding her to recover her physical and mental well-being and her ability to care for and enjoy the infant. Give her some support, and remember,