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Understanding Depression and Anxiety as Treatable Illnesses

2 responses to “Understanding Depression and Anxiety as Treatable Illnesses”

  1. mcdooglederek says:

    My wife called me this morning at work because she has really been having a hard time emotionally. You mentioned that many mental illnesses often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in the older adult population because the symptoms are not recognized as depression. Do most physicians recommend counseling whenever they hear certain phrases or see certain symptoms? Going to see a specialist for anxiety and depression might be a good idea.

    • Jessica Mays says:

      First of all, you are doing right by reaching out for resources.

      You are correct, many times depression and anxiety go unnoticed or diagnosed because people tend not to want to make a big deal of things but it is very treatable and acknowledging it is half the battle.

      Your first step should be for your wife to make an appointment with her primary care provider (family doctor). If she needs your help as her advocate, which you clearly are, then helping her will go a long way. I would suggest going with her to the appointment if she feels comfortable with that, but also understanding there may be times she needs to speak to someone without you present. Often it is difficult to express one’s inner most vulnerabilities, even with those we are closest to, when one is experiencing depression or anxiety. It makes them feel as though they are not strong enough.

      Counseling or therapy may be helpful. Sometimes medication is enough but more often than not a little help with counseling goes a long way. If you have done those things and still do not feel as though they have been helpful, then you may want to pursue more intensive therapy and even consider a psychiatrist. Try not to be overwhelmed by the details though. You’ve made a great first step by reaching out for help, for you and your wife. There is hope. Many people find with a little help they are able to get back to their normal. And for those that need a little more help, never stop reaching out to those you know can help and support you. Our thoughts are with your family.

      I would recommend calling 212 to find resources in your area to get help with navigating the system. Or you may call our Porter Hills Home Care office at 616-949-5140.

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