Blue Buzz: You're Depressed. Now What?

Are you stressed out? It’s perfectly normal to occasionally feel sad, anxious or overwhelmed. But it’s important not to dismiss all your negative feelings. Sometimes they develop into a larger problem – and that can affect your mental health. Watch this video to learn about the importance of your emotional wellbeing.

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Show Transcript

Are you stressed out. We are living in complicated
and worrisome times, that was the case even

before a global pandemic entered our lives.
It's been especially tough since then.

You might be feeling more anxious or stress
than usual, and that's because your body has been

working overtime to combat the very real
threat of the virus. And sure, it's perfectly normal

to occasionally feel sad, anxious, or just
overwhelmed with life, but be careful not

to dismiss those negative feelings.
Sometimes they develop into a larger problem and that

can affect your mental health.
We'll talk about navigating the healthcare system and

getting treatment in a minute. But first,
what do we mean when we say mental health?

Well, according to experts, mental health
includes our emotional, psychological and

social wellbeing. It affects how we think
feel and act mental illnesses cover a pretty

broad scope. It could include anything from
depression and anxiety disorders to something

more serious like schizophrenia, depending
on the illness. It could affect how you relate

to others and how you're able to function
each day. It's important to know that each

person will have a different experience.
Even some people who have the same diagnosis,

a lot of factors play a role in mental
health problems, including your family history.

It could also be impacted by your genetic
makeup and brain chemistry and any traumatic things

that you've experienced like abuse. Now,
before I go any further, we want to make one thing

very clear. These types of conditions are
very common. One in five adults in the U S

experienced mental illness each year.
And people might not talk about it, but if you're

struggling with something like this,
please remember you are not alone. So how do you

know if you're experiencing a mental health issue?
Well, here are some warning signs that

can be early indicators of a problem.
You might be eating too much or sleeping too much

or withdrawing from friends and family.
You may notice, you just don't enjoy the things

that you used to. You might also notice that
your energy levels are down, especially with

the COVID-19 pandemic, your anxiety or worry
level may be much higher. And as you can see,

those are just a few of the possible indicators.
Keep in mind, these illnesses can show up

in different ways. It all depends on the person,
you know yourself and your loved one's best.

So if you think something's off check in with
a healthcare provider, here's another big

warning sign, the excessive use of alcohol
or drugs. In fact, substance abuse and mental

illness often go hand in hand, nearly 20%
of us adults experiencing a mental illness.

Also have a substance use disorder. Sadly,
somethings get really bad. Mental illness

can progress to the point where a person
contemplates ending his or her own life. In fact,

in the U.S. people are more likely to take their
own life than to have it taken by someone else.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of American
deaths, accounting for the loss of more than

41,000 lives each year, that's more than double
the lives lost homicide. If you're struggling

with these feelings, remember help is available.
People with mental health issues are also

more likely to develop chronic health conditions
and be more likely to be unemployed. And that

has a ripple effect on a person's family and
community, society. More than 8 million Americans

provide care to someone with a mental health
issue spending an average of 32 hours per week,

providing unpaid care. That's essentially
like adding an additional full-time job.

On top of someone's already full plate.
This is a problem that's felt nationwide.

One out of five homeless Americans have a serious
mental health condition. And more than a third

of all incarcerated adults have a diagnosed
mental illness. This puts a huge strain on

our healthcare system. For adults, one out
of eight emergency room visits is related

to mental illness or substance abuse.
And maybe you feel like it's time for you or a

loved one to get help from a professional.
Your primary care doctor is a really good

place to start. He or she can help you with
initial screenings and referrals to mental

health specialist. If you don't have a primary
care doctor, there are lots of ways to find one.

If you have insurance, you can call the
number on the back of your ID card and they'll

help you find an in network provider.
There are also special resources for veterans in

need of mental health services. And for people
who don't have insurance or can't afford treatment,

many state and local health departments can
help point you in the right direction to once

you're in contact with a mental health care
provider, there are tools that can help you

on your journey. This might include things
like medication, therapy, social support,

and education. Remember everyone has different
symptoms and experiences. So each treatment

plan will look a little different experts
suggest that you work with your treatment

team to create a recovery plan that
works for you and your individual situation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us
have been and might still be isolated from friends

and family, which makes those feelings even
stronger. But believe it or not, you can combat your

negative feelings, stick to a healthy diet,
get in some exercise and avoid using alcohol

drugs or smoking. They can become a coping
mechanism. Social connection is even more

important than ever make sure to call and
video chat with friends and family on a regular basis.

We need to keep a close pulse on how
we're feeling and reach out for help if we

need it. Luckily, many mental health care
services are available via tele-health. Again,

start by calling your primary care doctor.
They may be able to see you over the phone

or by video chat. Many health plans also include
24 seven phone access to a mental health care

specialist. As part of the coverage, call
the number on the back of your insurance ID card,

for more information. To learn more,
visit the sources listed here. And most importantly,

if you're experiencing a mental health crisis
or suicidal thoughts, call the number you

see here on your screen.
Don't feel like talking?

Text, text NAMI two seven four one seven four one.
Above all, remember you are not alone.