Link – What to Know When You Love Someone With Depression

Photo by Ryan.Berry
Photo by Ryan.Berry

There are a handful of things in here that would be good to remember if someone close to you is dealing with depression or some similar mental health issue.

Much of it though comes down to the old maxim, “half of life is just showing up”.

Just be there. Instead of avoiding someone who is dealing with depression because you don’t know what to do or say, just be with them. Continue to spend time with them, and invite them to do things together like you always have. It goes a long way when someone can know about your depression and simply treat you the same as they did before instead of making every interaction more awkward. Who needs that when they’re already dealing with their own depression?

Check out the whole list though!

Link – How Gaps In Mental Health Care Play Out In Emergency Rooms

Dr. Lindsay Irvin, a pediatrician in San Antonio, says the dearth of psychiatrists who specialize in treating young people means many young patients simply don’t get the mental health treatment they need. By the time they wind up in the ER, she says, undiagnosed depression may have progressed to suicidal intent. And after leaving the ER, many are lost to follow-up.

“They’ll land in a pediatric or family practice,” Irvin says, where most primary care doctors haven’t been trained “to navigate the ins and outs of psychotropic meds.”

This is an ongoing struggle when it comes to getting mental health treatment. Too often someone dealing with depression or other symptoms has no interaction with the medical community until they’ve done something to physically hurt themselves. That’s when they end up in an ER, for example. But that’s not a mental health facility.

Having spent some time on a hospital after my mental health deteriorated and caused physical illness, I can tell you first hand that is not mental health treatment. I was lucky enough to be seen by someone with that background a couple of times during the 9 days I was in the hospital, but once I was well enough, physically, to be released, I was. Once out, it was up to me to go find mental health treatment along with my primary doctor.

Now, luckily for me, my primary doctor understood a bit about mental health issues and referred me to a psychologist who was able to immediately get me on medication and into therapy. I was lucky. I’ve heard from enough people who’s experiences were very different to know that I was just lucky. I went back to a large metropolitan area home to several, large, medical centers including one of the largest university medical programs in the country. I did not lack for available treatment. Far too many people leave the ER only to be thrust back into the “care” of well-meaning doctors who do not have training to recognize mental health disorders, let alone the ability to treat them, or get pointed in the direction of mental health care that is non-existent in their location.

Where do they go once the immediate emergency is over? Far too often it’s nowhere, until the next ER visit. That’s not treatment.

Link – Toward an Understanding of ‘Reservoir’ Implications in the Treatment of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a major mental health challenge impacting millions, yet the disorder has proven to be a significant challenge for the mental health community. The primary reason is that social anxiety is driven by the underlying emotions of shame, embarrassment, and humiliation. Most sufferers do not seek help because of these emotions, making social anxiety the quintessential “disease of resistance.” Those who do seek treatment often fail to thrive because many existing treatment modalities neglect to take into account the deep underlying causes of social anxiety.

Recently on Twitter I was asked whether I had written anything about social anxiety, and I had to admit that while I was aware of it, I hadn’t really written anything about it, and couldn’t really even remember linking to anything specific to social anxiety. I know it’s a mental health issue that impacts many, many people, but I must admit that I hadn’t really been moved by anything that I had seen to make a post out of it.

Sure enough, today I saw this article that explains a bit about the disorder, and some treatment recommendations. So, to familiarize myself, and my readers, with social anxiety, I’m linking to it!

Do you suffer from social anxiety? What kinds of things have helped you?

Link – More than half of US adults with mental illness don’t get needed care

“Health care reform has expanded mental health care coverage for Americans, an annual report released this week suggests, but about 56 percent of U.S. adults with a mental illness still do not receive treatment.

The nonprofit Mental Health America (MHA) reported that 40 million Americans are dealing with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Despite new health initiatives, 19 percent of adults with mental illness in states that didn’t expand Medicaid remain uninsured, while 13 percent of these adults in states that did expand Medicaid remain uninsured.”

Simply, it’s not good enough. There are far too many people suffering needlessly because they can’t get the help that could improve their situation, and far too many people’s lives being impacted by the mental health of someone close to them.

How do we make sure this number goes down significantly?

Link – Survivor Knights Philadelphia Art Show and Spoken Word

Survivors of any kind of abuse, trauma, medical condition, life challenge, etc, we invite you to express yourself in visual art and/or spoken word at this event designed to bring the community together in mutual support. Only together can we survive. Your darkest moments may be the light to another.

The event is FREE and open to the public.

If you would like to showcase your art or perform a spoken word piece, please contact us at

Just thought this event might interest some of you, so I’m passing it along. If you showcase or even if you just attend, let us know your experience at the event when it happens!

Link – Women describe struggles with mental illness in the workplace

The day after the first time Lucy Ingram called in sick to her job due to depression, her boss presented her with a performance improvement plan. He told her that her calling in was unfair to her coworkers, unprofessional and set a bad example for the young adults she worked with.

Two weeks later, Ingram got a concussion. Her boss told her to take as much time off as she needed.

Sadly, this is the reality for many of us. There’s plenty of accommodation given for physical injuries, or as I’m getting now, a death in the family. Those are great, and believe me I appreciate it. But, at the same time, it’s all too common to dismiss mental health problems as something that you just have to deal with, no excuse to miss work, or alter your schedule, or in the startup world, actually work normal hours instead of 12-14 hours a day. There’s no room for that.

I think many employers are afraid that since they can’t see depression, that if they allow some accommodations for someone with depression that it will get taken advantage of. I don’t condone that at all, if you can’t continue to do your job with some reasonable accommodations you shouldn’t be there, you should be looking at some sort of disability. But even getting a reasonable accommodation like altering a schedule for therapy sessions, or taking some time off to deal with other issues, can be impossible for too many of us. It shouldn’t be.

Link – Battling Mental Illness One Wave at a Time

After opening up, Trebilco quickly found that he wasn’t alone. Many of his surfing buddies struggled with similar issues, like depression and anxiety, and were willing to talk about them. Through open discussion – mixed in with surfing – Trebilco formed the inception of One Wave. But then, Trebilco’s manic personality kicked in again; he was so excited about his new project that he stayed up for two days, culminating in a surf session dressed in a suit and tie – a one-man board meeting. And that’s where the idea for “Fluro Fridays” came about.

This is cool. I’m glad there are people out there talking about depression and metal health in various places, and to actually have fun while opening up about depression? That’s an awesome way to bring it out in to the light.

Link – How to Be Friends With Someone Who’s Depressed

In our overly connected society, we may often confuse connectivity with connection — human connection that is. Commenting, texting, reposting and retweeting have become substitutes for communication, and we often erroneously use these to gauge the status of a relationship. That can be dangerous, because the truth is so much gets overlooked when scrolling through our feeds. Sometimes it’s either way too apparent that a friend has depression or anxiety and we are quick to catalogue them as “dark.” Other times, our friends become experts at curating their lives to showcase a surreal perfection, and it can be way too easy for us to believe they are alright.

So, you notice your friend is feeling the blues, the reds and every color in between. What can you do if you suspect a close friend may be experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety?

First off, yes there is some good advice in this article about what to do, and what not to do, if you want to stay connected and support someone dealing with depression. Secondly, the above statement about online connections is important to remember. Clearly, with my travel schedule I have to rely on online social networks to stay connected to my friends and family. But it’s important to get beyond that, to be honest with each other, and not create an online profile that portrays the perfect life with our closest friends.

For public consumption, sure create a nice view of yourself, one that won’t hurt you professionally, and let’s those who don’t know you well to see what you choose to share with them. But do something away from the public with your closest friends, so that you can be yourselves.

I honestly believe this is why networks like Snapchat have grown so popular with younger people. It’s a place to be yourself with a smaller group, and a place where things aren’t permanent like they are on other social networks. Truth is though, there are lots of ways to privately share with your closest friends when you need to, and at some level, we all need to.

Link – Do You Know What to Say When Someone Has an Anxiety or Panic Attack?

“Saying the wrong thing can do more harm than good, but don’t worry! We’ll guide you on how to help.

As someone who suffers all too frequently with panic disorder, I can tell you that sometimes, there’s just nothing to do but get through it. Friends, and family may try to help but truthfully, they can make it worse.”

I’ve not been one to have panic attacks, but I have been with other people as they have had them, and frankly, I’m glad they were able to tell me what to do for them, because I had no idea.

Don’t have no idea. Read this.

Link – Mental Illness Is More than ‘Worried Wellness’

Dismissing people who are genuinely suffering, and implying that they’d be fine if they’d simply stop worrying, is a costly error in judgment.

It’s time to retire condescending stereotypes like “the worried well.” Mental illness doesn’t always take forms as dramatic as a broken leg or a harsh cough, but it deserves proper treatment as well as proper respect. In truth, the use of the phrase “worried well” obscures the very real, very serious nature of mental illness — even as it misses something very important about healing and humanity: that the body and mind often get sick, and get well again, together.

I find it troublesome that there are medical professionals who use this term to describe mental health issues like depression. Many people dealing with mental health issues go to their general practice doctor as the first step in getting help. In fact, many insurance plans require that doctor to refer someone to a mental health professional before it will cover that expense. What chance do these folks have when their doctor dismisses their very real problems as “worry”?

People are dying because of depression and other issues. If that’s not a concern for all health care professionals, then they are failing in their responsibilities.