BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A dramatic age gap when it comes to the use of antidepressants in women.
The report shows 1 in 10 women, between the ages of 18 and 39, use antidepressants. The number goes to 1 in 5, in the 40 to 59 age group, and 1 in 4 in women over the age of 60.
At the age of 18, Holly Rounseville was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
The-now 40-year-old shared that having a support system has been the reason she has been able to get through life's rough patches.
Holly Q. Rounseville said, "I decided early on that it wasn't something that I was going to keep taboo. I was going to be open about it. More importantly, try and help other people, because this isn't something I want anyone to have to go through alone or to feel like they have to hide."
Rounseville said a great place to start is with a general practitioner. The mental health advocate encourages honesty about one's current feeling.
Rounseville said, "There are verbal screenings that can be done for depression, but another really important thing is to request to have blood panels done because things like vitamin D, which is a huge issue in Buffalo, thyroid issues, iron deficiency. These can all play a surprisingly huge part in depression and overall health."
Licensed mental health counselor LaToya Seals said, "Addressing mental health is extremely important, especially in today's society, because there have been a lot of factors that have been impacting the world, society, there's a lot of different attitudes that have changed."
There are six common depression types, according to Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School.
Clinical or major depression is the most common.
The other five are:
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Bipolar II disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Depression can also lead to risk factors for heart disease and dementia. Symptoms can occur in adults for many reasons.
"Body, image issues or how they feel women should look or how they feel women should act and behave. This all kind of ties and plays out into our emotional well-being, our physical well-being, and our psychological well-being," Seals said. "Relationship stressors, family conflicts and/or stressors. Most individuals who are 40 and older have either experienced a divorce or have experienced a long term breakup of some sort."
Other factors include grief and/or loss, becoming an empty nester, becoming a caretaker for a parent and financial worries.
Seals said, "We have to recognize and understand what the impact of these stressors are going to us because if we don't know, how can we address it?"
Medication alone is not something to depend on, Seals suggested. She said it is important to couple medication with therapy.
Here are ways to support health and to overcome depression:
- Aim for eight hours of sleep
- Keep stress in check
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Care for a pet
- Do things you enjoy (or used to)
Tips on creating a "Wellness Toolbox" can be found here.
It is important to note that techniques are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and ensured success in overcoming depression should also be accompanied by someone who is clinically licensed.
Here are five things to know about depression among women, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
- Depression is a real medical condition
- Depression can hurt—literally
- Certain types of depression are unique to women
- Depression can be treated
- Researchers at the NIMH and across the country are dedicated to women’s mental health research
"That's the best combination in combating any kind of mental health condition, but what research has shown, alongside with therapy in general, the person has a more successful outcome in terms of receiving the best quality of life they can for themselves," Seals said.
Rounseville said, "You don't have to do this alone. You won't feel this way forever and there is help."
There are a lot of resources available, in Western New York.
ECMC has virtual help center visits for adults with urgent mental health needs.
Evergreen Health Services specializes in mental health services, in LGBTQ+ communities.
A popular way to search for therapists is through Psychology Today.