KY Faces Another Risk from Natural Disasters: Seasonal Depression
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Mental health experts say this winter may be especially difficult for people who have lost homes or loved ones in the eastern Kentucky floods, and those who are rebuilding after last year's deadly tornadoes in the western part of the state.
Marcie Timmerman, executive director of Mental Health America of Kentucky, said the increased stress on families during the holidays and winter blues could set the stage for seasonal depression.
"We've been through pandemics, tornadoes and flooding, right? We've lost homes, we've lost things. We may have lost people we love. We lost places that we love."
The University of Kentucky reports more students seeking help for mental health issues on campus.
Timmerman noted Mental Health America has an online screening tool, which can be used at home to gauge depression risk.
She pointed out screening for depression increases the chance of getting treatment. Research shows many primary care physicians fail to recognize depression, especially in patients of color.
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Timmerman explained seasonal affective disorder is often affiliated with a lack of sunlight and decreased vitamin D levels. She emphasized it is important to pay attention to warning signs, including sadness, lack of energy and oversleeping.
"If you're crying every day for say, seven to 14 days, and it's impacting your work, or your school or your everyday life, that's really an indicator that you need to get some help," Timmerman advised.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 3% of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but the number jumps to around 10% in parts of the country with longer winters.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…