I don’t usually write about National _________ Day, but I’m making an exception. National Depression Screening Day is on Thursday (October 11).
Whenever I talk about depression with friends, family or acquaintances, it seems like some people think depression just means you’re sad all of the time. Depression is more than just feeling sad:
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Liberal talk-show host Rachel Maddow was asked about her depression during an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Regardless of how you feel about Maddow, I think she describes depression in a way that other people who suffer from depression might be able to identify with:
“Ever since puberty, ever since I was 11 or 12, I’ve had cyclical depression. That’s something that has been a defining feature of my life as an adult. It’s manageable. But it’s real. And it doesn’t take away from my joy or my work or my energy, but coping with depression is something that is part of the everyday way that I live and have lived for as long as I can remember. … Depression for me, you can’t distract your way out of it. … When you are depressed, it’s like the rest of the world is the mother ship, and you’re out there on a little pod and your line gets cut and you don’t connect with anything. You sort of disappear. And so it’s not something you can talk-therapy out of. It’s really a chemical thing. You get adrenaline from work, but adrenaline is not a cure.”
Many people who suffer from depression never seek help. This can end tragically.
If you or someone you know suffers from depression, tomorrow would be a good reason to seek help. For people who have insurance, many providers will cover counseling. For people who do not have insurance or are under insured, there are options of places that will provide the services for free or base the price you’re charged on a sliding scale related to your income.
As news continues to spread about an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis, it’s important to note — Oklahoma has not seen any cases nor is the state Health Department investigating any cases of fungal meningitis associated with the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 35 cases of the rare form of meningitis in six states, and at least five deaths, all associated with the outbreak.
A Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center, is under federal investigation after three lots of a steroid used to treat back pain that the center shipped to 23 states were thought to be the cause of the outbreak.
States where the lots were shipped include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana , Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.
The New England Compounding Center does have a license from the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy. This means there could be products from the compounding center in Oklahoma. It’s not known whether products outside of the contaminated lot are also contaminated, for the federal investigation is ongoing.
In case you watched the first presidential debate tonight and found yourself saying, “I have a question!” — you have a chance to ask that question.
WebMD has teamed up with the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to help gather questions for the upcoming debates. If you have a question for the candidates about health care, please submit it below. WebMD will compile the questions to share with the debate moderators.
If I were to submit a question, it would likely be about health care costs (which I might have already submitted…). This Washington Post graphic shows the difference in what residents in the U.S. pay for medical procedures versus in other countries.
What would you ask about? What did you want to hear more about tonight?
Let me know either here on the blog or via Twitter at @jaclyncosgrove.