Study: Men and Depression Treatment

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

About 1 in 16 individuals experienced depression in a given year(1), impacting both men and women.

A recent survey of about 95,000 college students had interesting information about men and depression (2).

What did the study involve? (2)

  • 95,761 college students across 137 colleges and Universities across the United States.
  • 91% of the students were 18 to 29 years old.
  • This is a 30 minute survey asking a variety of questions regarding health, health related lifestyle, etc.
  • This also included questions about depression, overwhelming anxiety, receiving treatment, and suicidal ideation.
  • Survey has been conducted over several years.

What did the results show?

Similar percentage of male and female college students (30.8, 38.8%) reported feeling so depressed that they could not function in the past 12 months.

Similar percentage of males and females reported seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months (8.5, 9.6%).

However, fewer male college students reported getting treatment for depression than female college students (8.7 % male vs. 15.6% female).

Why might this be the case?

There are several possibilities. Some of them include:

  • Men can experience depression differently (3) than women and men may be more likely to feel very tired and irritable, and lose interest in their work, family, or hobbies, sleep difficulties as a result of depression (4).
  • Many men do not recognize, acknowledge, or seek help for their depression (4).
  • 3/4 of suicides in the United States are men (5).
  • Men tend to under utilize health care overall than women; and this may play a role in men dying sooner than women on average (5).

What is being done about men’s mental health on campus?

Increasing awareness might help. Click here to learn more about men’s health disparities.

What is being done to increase awareness about Men and mental health?

Are there any other helpful resources?

Anonymous Mental health screening.
Suicide screening prevention.
Movember
Men’s mental health at National Institute of Mental Health

Movember National Men’s Health Campaign
Article about how depression might impact men differently.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
References:

  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
  2. American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2016. Hanover, MD: American College Health Association; 2016.
  3. http://u.osu.edu/emotionalfitness/2015/11/
  4. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/Vitalstatsonline.htm
  5. https://us.movember.com/programs/cause

Improving your likelihood of antidepressant medication response

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

As of 2014, about 15.7 million people in the US had at least 1 major depressive episode in the last year, and about two thirds of the individuals had a severe impairment in their ability to manage at home, work/school, or relationships with others (1).

Treatment options for major depression include counseling, medications, life-style, and other strategies. These options can be used alone or in combination with each other.

A recent study looked at a major factor impacting your response to antidepressant medication for major depression.

How do you define depression?

A major depressive episode is defined as an episode of depressed mood or loss of pleasure in daily activities lasting 2 weeks or longer in the past 12 months and at least some additional symptoms, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-worth (2).  Additionally there must be some impairment in a person’s ability to function at home, work, relationships or social settings.

What was the study? (3)

792 patients receiving usual care for depression in 83 clinics for at least six months between 2008 and 2010 (4).

How was depression measured?

Depression was measured using, Patient Health Questionnaire–9, a validated instrument to measure the severity and treatment response to depression (3,4).

Was there a key finding?

According to the study article, patients reporting fair or poor health were significantly less likely to improve depression compared with patients with good, very good, or excellent health (3).

What do the results mean?

In my practice, I often discuss the mental health benefits of healthy lifestyle habits such as healthy eating habits, healthy (not excessive) exercise, adequate sleep, avoidance of alcohol, illicit drugs; yoga, meditation, etc.

This study suggests that individuals suffering from Major Depression with good overall health had a better chance of benefiting from antidepressant medications than those with depression who reported fair or poor health.

In other words, while good overall health might help many people with depression, if you are still depressed, having good overall health improves your chances of responding to medications.

This is a small study and further studies would be helpful.

What are some resources regarding health improvement?

What are some of OSU’s campus resources that might help with reducing depression?

What are some resources regarding depression?

Counseling at the OSU Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service
• Mindfulness and Body scan techniques at the OSU Wexner Medical Center
Depression information at the National Institute of Mental Health
Anonymous mental health screen
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).
  3. Rossom RC, et. al.  Predictors of Poor Response to Depression Treatment in Primary Care.  Published online: July 15, 2016. Psychiatric Services in Advance (doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201400285)
  4. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JBW. The PHQ-9: Validity of a Brief Depression Severity Measure.J Gen Intern Med. 2001 September; 16(9): 606–613.

How You Can Become More Resilient

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA, OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

Many students will experience more stress as the semester comes to an end.

Many will also experience other stressful events such as life tragedies, trauma, difficulties with finances, work, relationships, health, emotions, etc.

Practicing and increasing resilience in yourself can be helpful with these situations.

What is resilience?

Resilience has many definitions, here are some useful ways of thinking about resilience:

  • An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (1)
  • Emotional resilience is one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations (2).

What are some ways to increase resilience?

The key is to adjust.

The American Psychological Association’s report on Resilience (3) offers 10 methods to increase resilience:

Adjust your thinking

1. Practice developing confidence in your ability to solve problems.  It can be helpful to occasionally remind your self about times in the past where things were difficult and you problem solved through it.

2. Keep perspective.  Take a step back and remind yourself of the big picture, and where your current situation fits. Are you blowing things out of proportion? Or are you being realistic?

3. Keep a positive outlook by visualizing what you want instead of worrying about what you don’t want.

4. Look for solutions.  Stressful things will happen but shifting your focus from worrying about the problem to looking for solutions can be powerful. Just the change in thinking can help you feel better; and the solutions are a bonus!

5. Accept that there will often be change. It can be very helpful to accept the things that you cannot change and shift your energy to the things that you can change.

Act differently:

6. Move toward your goals:

  • Make sure that your goals are realistic.
  • Take a small step. Doing things regularly, even something small, that move you towards goals will help you feel better.

7. Take decisive actions towards problems instead of avoiding or procrastinating. This will also help reduce feelings of frustration.

8. Look for opportunities for self-discovery.

  • What lesson can you gain from the loss or setback?
  • The report goes on to say that many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.

9. Connect with others:

  • Accept help and support. Counseling at OSU is a great resource.
  • Helping others can also benefit the helper. Some examples include: student organizations, civic groups, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, volunteer groups, or other local groups.

10. Connect with yourself:

  • Do activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, drugs.

The report also suggests other ways that might strengthen resilience:

  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings
  • Meditation/Yoga
  • Spiritual and/or religious practices

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.

References:

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilience
  2. http://stress.about.com/od/understandingstress/a/resilience.htm
  3. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx