Most people think of Summer as bright, sunny, and pleasant, but someone suffering with a depressive disorder might think of it as dark, dreary, and oppressive.
Depressive disorder, depression, is a serious mental condition most commonly categorized by an acute loss of interest in life and a persistent despondency. Most everyone has incidents in their lives that cause deep sadness, but people who feel extreme sadness and overwhelming despair for an extended period of time are likely clinically depressed. Some factors that contribute to clinical depression include:
Chemical imbalances in the brain that adversely alter a person’s temperament.
Negative thinking which can increase the risk of depression.
Gender: women experience depression more often than men.
Medications which can negatively affect mood and behavior.
Genetic predisposition: A family history of depressive behavior can increase the likelihood of developing it.
A traumatic life event such as death, divorce, or bankruptcy.
Serious illnesses: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease cause emotional distress that can evolve into depression.
Home health and hospice provide patients and their families with medical and emotional support. Hospice teams in particular routinely deal with depressive disorder stemming from both traumatic life events and serious illness. Hospice teams include social workers, physiologists, and clergy who are trained to recognize and care for patients and family members suffering with depression.
Remind your referral sources when making your presentations about the advantage of personalized home care for their patients at high risk of developing depression.