UK Extension Service classes offer great education about depression

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Response to treatment is high

By Joan Martin

Depression can be fatal. No one would let a broken leg go untreated.

However, any number of people will say that depression will pass so why should I do anything. The truth is that, while depression might lift after a period of time, symptoms will return more quickly next time and may be more severe.

The University of Kentucky Extension Service offers a six-session series on depression. Each session targets a specific group and can stand alone as a presentation.

The program objectives are to help participants:

•Increase knowledge of depression.

•Identify symptoms of depression.

•Locate resources for additional information and treatment.

•Recognize the negative effects of stigma toward people suffering from depression.

•Address depression in the home, workplace and school.

•Discuss concerns about depression with loved ones.

You can schedule an educational session for your group by calling the Anderson County Extension Office at 502.839.7271.

The program is educational and no treatment is provided nor implied. Group size should be between 8-12. There is no cost for the program.

Publications in the Blue to You series are available online. Most people benefit from the educational session along with the publications. You can schedule one or more sessions for your group.

•Depression in Children and Adolescents, HSW-LAS-107.

•Women and Depression, HSW-LAS-108.

•Postpartum Depression, HSW-LALS-109.

•Men and Depression, HSW-LAS-110.

Depression and Older Adults, HSW-LAS-111.

•Military Families, HAW-TWW-112.

In today’s column, I will focus on some concerns about men and depression.

About six million men in the United States experience a depressive disorder. About 65 percent of the men with depression will go undiagnosed and without treatment. About 97 percent of those reporting depression also report that their work, home life and relationships suffer as a result of depression.

Men experience physical symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, feeling fatigued or weak, or unexplained back pain, headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain.

Emotional symptoms include anger and frustration, irritability and restlessness, feeling worthless and feeling sad.

Men more frequently report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work and hobbies and sleep disturbances.

Men are not as likely to report sadness, worthlessness, guilt, anxiety or crying.

Men might often try to mask depression with alcohol, drugs, overworking, blaming others and aggression.

About 80 percent of people who experience depression will receive relief from treatment. A combination of talk and medication therapy provides the most effective treatment.

Unfortunately the other 20 percent of people who receive treatment for depression won’t find much sustained relief. For them, depression is often fatal. Nevertheless, an 80 percent positive response to treatment is a high response.

Participants in the Blue to You educational program will learn ways to support a loved one who experiences depression and encourage them to complete treatment.

Please contact the Anderson County Extension Office at 502.839.7271 if you have questions or would like to schedule a program.

Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin, University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating.

Disabilities accommodated with prior notification.