Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During the Month of May we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. One in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 18 percent of adults are affected by anxiety, while The World Health Organization has stated that 19 percent of Americans will suffer from depression in their lifetime. Depression and anxiety might seem like opposites, but they often go together. More than half of the people diagnosed with depression also have anxiety. Either condition can be disabling on its own. Together, depression and anxiety can be especially hard to live with, hard to diagnose, and hard to treat.
While the season of summer still has more than a few weeks to go, the reality of summer is quickly coming to an end. School will be starting soon, parents are out shopping for their kids’ new clothes and school supplies already, and college students are preparing for their annual return to campus. Summer depression has a different clinical presentation than the winter blues. In winter, people are sleeping too much and gaining weight, while the summer might have the opposite effect. The connection between heat and mood is clearly reported by people, In fact, it turns out plenty of people don’t find bliss during summer. The hot, bright, long days turn them into gigantic grump buckets or make them genuinely sick.