There are bunches of things that nobody tells you about depression. Here are 3 of the most important of these items:
1. Magnesium Deficiency Can Cause or Worsen Depression
Depression sometimes has a physical cause. If you’ve been feeling depressed, it is possible that a physical health concern could be a primary cause of your depression. Nutritional deficiencies are one possible culprit — and clinical studies point to magnesium deficiency as a known causative factor in some cases of depression.
How it can happen: Your body needs magnesium for performing an estimated 300+ essential functions. When you fail to meet your neuronal requirements for magnesium, it can result in neuronal damage –which then manifests itself as depression.
Mental health professionals often overlook this important link. Some aren’t aware it exists in the first place – so they won’t tell you about it. And perhaps some know about it, but it isn’t exactly to their financial advantage to recommend a $15 bottle of supplements when that bottle might make you feel so much better that they lose you as a patient forever. But now that you’re aware of this, you can evaluate whether you’d want to try supplementing with magnesium to see if it could help you. Magnesium supplements are available over the counter, and they’re far more affordable than a visit to a psychologist.
2. When You Need to Seek Help, Some Avenues Are Better Than Others
You absolutely should not suffer with depression on your own – particularly not if you’re feeling suicidal or you feel compelled to harm yourself. In that case, please reach out for help immediately!
Having said that, it’s possible that nobody has told you what the best and worst avenues are for seeking the help you need. Here’s what you need to know:
If you need help immediately, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is your first line of defense. Call them any time at 1-800-273-8255.
Only go to the emergency room as a last resort. Emergency room workers are not typically trained to deal with depression or other mental health issues. Not only that, you’re likely to be kept waiting in the ER for a long time. This is because, when the ER professionals perform triage, they’re likely to prioritize helping people who show up with gunshot wounds and heart attacks before they try to help you.
Researchers at Wake Forest University found that psychiatric patients endured significantly longer wait times than non-psychiatric patients did – on average, 3.2 times longer. Clearly, the emergency room is an inefficient place for a depressed person to seek treatment – so if you need immediate help, the ER might not necessarily be the best place to get it.
But what if you live in an area where there are no qualified mental health practitioners – so you have nowhere else to turn? CNN reports that finding mental healthcare providers can be problematic for many rural residents in the United States. Unfortunately, there is a growing shortage of qualified mental healthcare professionals in many areas of the country.
Why are there shortages? The causes are complex, but the challenging nature of the occupation is one of the greatest contributing factors. Providing mental healthcare is a tough job. Not only that, many of the nation’s psychiatrists and mental health nurses are aging and retiring; not enough younger workers are entering the profession to take their places.
This is, in part, because there are shortages of instructors who are qualified to teach mental health courses, particularly in the fields of psychiatry and mental health nursing. If a mental health nurse has the credentials and experience needed to become an instructor, s/he can typically earn more by working as a nurse than s/he’d be able to earn in a faculty role. As a result, the lack of instructors creates a bottleneck for training new mental health nurses. That leads to many areas of the country being underserved.
Luckily, technological advances are helping to bridge the gap between mental health professionals and patients in underserved areas. If you live in an area where mental health services are either unavailable or priced out of reach, telebehavioral health and telemental healthcare are options you can consider trying. These terms refer to web-based mental healthcare services.
Researchers have determined that patients have been satisfied with the care they’ve received through telemental health channels. Users of this technology have been able to access the care they need while reducing the costs for their care. It is possible that perhaps this method of care could be a viable option for you, too.
3. An Employee Assistance Program Might Be Available to Help You Cope With Depression
It’s also possible that your employer might make an employee assistance program (EAP) available. The primary purpose of EAPs is to help employees cope with personal issues, including but not limited to depression, that can adversely affect work performance. Psychology Today reports that EAPs are under-utilized, in part because people don’t know they exist. So, check with your employer to see if an EAP exists – and if it does, make use of it.
In a dire emergency, by all means, go to the ER if you absolutely have no other choice. But if one of these other alternatives could work for you, you might be happier taking one of your other options in the end.
These are 3 important things you need to know about depression that you might not have already known – in part because nobody is inclined to tell you about them. Now that you know these 3 important things, we hope you’re better empowered to find a workable solution if you’re suffering from depression.
Important note: This article includes only general information that is not customized to your unique situation. As such, it is not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re in need of medical advice, we urge you to consult a qualified healthcare practitioner who can better assist you after evaluating your specific situation and healthcare needs.