Health – Depression & Broken Heart

You don’t have to suffer in silence. In most cases of panic attack, it usually starts with depression. A female reporter in Hong Kong who successfully juggled the demands of writing for publications around the world suddenly suffered panic attack. She often had panic attacks as she was overwhelmed by feelings of isolation, hopelessness, inadequacy and failure. She would always excuse herself and pretended to have urgent private calls to make so that she could get out and calm down.

A cartoonist for a famous Japanese magazines; suddenly hit a dry spell in 1986 and she was afraid to get out of bed in the morning. She stopped eating and lost seven kilos within a few days. She was left without getting any assignments for a month and spent her time lying in bed, smoking and drinking and was overwhelmed with thoughts of dying. Both the female reporter and cartoonist were suffering from clinical depression.

There are millions of people like them and they kept the illness to themselves. In Japan alone there are more than six millions people suffering from depression according to Dr Takahashi Toru of the Toru Clinic in Tokyo. It is estimated that one in 13 people aged 24 to 64 suffered from depression according to a study done by Singapore National Mental Health survey.

We seldom hear about depression just thirty years ago but the world is different now. People were different then, but presently many human beings have lost their value of life. Many have lost their conscience and killing is everywhere. People live in fear from many kinds of threats and even in the comfort of their homes, danger is there. There is no peace even to just go marketing for fresh vegetables. A bomb may explode anytime, anyplace.

Financial security is one of the main causes for depression. Jobless people or those hardly can make end meet, are usually victims of depression which can after some time of suffering start to have panic attacks. Depressive disorders range from dysthymia – low grade, chronic depression – to bipolar disorder, or manic depression, which causes extreme swings between depressive lows and manic high. Depression remains widely misunderstood and sufferers lead a double life. One minute full of confidence and another minute worse than a little mouse when panic attack. Depression is a taboo among Chinese and if people know that you are depressed, they will avoid you.

I should say broken heart is the worst mental blues and almost everyone gets the blues once in a lifetime. Those who have not experience it are lucky or maybe they have never fallen in love before. They will not be able to grasp the anguish depression brings. It’s so emotionally intense that it paralyses you and says one sufferer, “You never know when it will end, the pain is so overwhelming that you want to end it all.”

People will sometimes give advice with the best intentions for broken heart but says Siti Mohammad, a young female accountant who has lived with depression for much of her life: “Sometimes my relatives will tell me to look at the positive side of things. They say, ‘You have to be strong and believe in God.’ They make it sound as if I could just snap out of it. If it was that simple, I wouldn’t be like this.”

Depression is often inadequately treated or not treated at all because the truth of broken heart may not be admitted by the sufferers. For instance, many Malays believe the emotions lie in the liver and will complain about stomach soreness rather than admit to depression. Among the Chinese, the heart is often seen as the source of emotions, so they complain about chest discomfort. Singapore National University’s Kua says these cultural factors lead to misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all in as many as one-third of cases.

For the elderly, physical ailments can mask symptoms of depression (it is often confused with Alzheimer’s disease), and there is a belief, even in the medical community, that depression is simply a fact of an older person’s life. According to a study conducted in the 1980s by Dr Lee Aik Hoe, president of the Malaysian Mental Health Association, showed that three-quarters of people who had attempted suicide also suffered from depression.

Rose Lee’s depression nearly killed her. As a teenager, she tumbled into a black pit and said, “I was severely depressed – the pain was terrible. It seemed logical to kill myself.” Richard Ng of Kuala Lumpur said he lost his father to suicide. “He displayed signs of depression – being withdrawn and losing his appetite – signs that I recognized but did nothing about, but when he committed suicide, I was shattered.”

The road to recovery is a tough one but it can be treated. If it is not because of broken heart, then the chances of recovery is good with medication. If it is because of broken heart, then there is no medicine that can cure a broken heart. There are many drugs that physicians can prescribe and certain antidepressants really work effectively so as to allow the sufferers to get on with life. But drug may have side effects like insomnia and sexual dysfunction, professional help is advised in such a case to take the right type and also avoid the risk of taking an overdose.

One of the best rescues is interpersonal and cognitive counselling. Therapy can help to change a patient’s thinking and reappraise their external circumstances. Interpersonal therapy focuses on specific-related problems, while cognitive therapy tries to counter the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that plague those who are depressed. In Malaysia the “Befrienders” is doing an excellent voluntarily job to make life worth living. The 24-hour helpline, modelled on the Samaritans in the United Kingdom, is one of the oldest services in Asia. It has more than 200 volunteers and fielded 24,000 calls a year.

Suicide is a grave sin according to spiritual teachings in almost every religion. Certain religion says that if a person commits suicide, he will also commit suicide for his next seven future lives. I had a relative who committed suicide many years ago. She was one of the most beautiful women in my hometown and married to one of the richest men there. Very fortunate during her younger days because of her beauty, but when her husband passed away early in life, she was cheated of everything she possessed by a conman who only wanted her properties. Unable to take the pain of her broken heart and loss of all her possessions, she took her life.

Author: T.A Chew

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Medicare Coverage and Mental Health – Depression in Seniors Soon Covered by Medicare Insurance

Medicare Hopes to Increase Coverage for Depression

Depression is a very real issue for seniors (and other Americans) all over the country. However, in many seniors the disease has gone undetected, because even with Medicare, preventative measures were not covered for mental health needs. Seniors with depression, especially white, older males, have a much higher chance of being diagnosed, because patients typically present physical, tangible complaints rather than symptoms of their mood.

Already, some Medicare beneficiaries are being treated for depression, although those who are, encounter very high out-of-pocket expenses. Those with Medicare Supplemental Plans (or Medigap Insurance) were able to handle more of the costs, but those without supplemental insurance often went without treatment.

Medicare hopes to rectify that situation with new policies that focus on early detection and preventative measures as opposed to just treatment after the disease has already taken hold:

“Medicare always has covered treatment of mental illness. But starting Jan. 1, 2012, the program also will cover preventive screenings for depression and, in a separate policy proposal, alcohol misuse.” (from American Medical News)

It’s impossible to ignore the growing number of seniors dealing with depression. It’s also foolish to think that all those who are dealing with depression are receiving the proper treatment:

“‘Among persons older than 65 years, one in six suffers from depression,’ and the condition is higher in those with co-morbidities including cancer, arthritis, stroke, chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease, and when stressful events are more frequent.” (from Health Leaders Media)

Another study has linked insomnia to depression, and while it is usually of symptom of depression, doctors have found that it can also be a risk factor for depression onset and reoccurring depression.
Also, depression amongst seniors tend to last longer than the general population suffering from depression. Depression has also been known to double the risk of cardiac diseases in seniors, and has been linked to the increased percentage of deaths from illness. Often times depression can reduce the ambition, or even ability to rehabilitate from a sickness or injury.

The hope is that adding Medicare coverage for screenings and early-detection practices, the number of undiagnosed seniors will decrease and that those suffering from depression will receive the help they need.

Medicare Coverage Can Only Get Better with Your Help

If you have questions about Medicare or Medicare supplement insurance coverage for mental health issues, you should be able to speak with a Medigap provider or other professional in the field who can lay out exactly what the coverage is and what the costs are.

Healthcare continues to be a major topic of discussion on Capitol Hill, across the 24-hour news channels, and in homes all over the country. Unfortunately, a lot of these conversations and debates turn into political attacks, and some of the basic concerns get lost in the mix. Concerns like, “Does Medicare provide the coverage I need right now, or do I need to look into Medigap coverage?”

As the focus of the Medicare debate remains, for the most part, in the future tense, we try our best to focus on the here and now (at least from time to time). The fact is that as of right now, Medicare coverage doesn’t provide the full range of care that some seniors need. In fact, according to a recent report “about 1 in 6 Medicare beneficiaries purchased [Medigap policies] in 2008. (from Philly Burbs and Partnership to Protect Medigap)

Not everyone (seniors or otherwise) has the same healthcare needs or is in the same economic situation. However, everyone has the right to get all of the information on all of the options out there. As talks about the future of Medicare heat up as we approach the next Presidential election, don’t lose sight of the present state of Medicare. Does it offer you all of the coverage you need? What options could Medigap coverage provide? Does Medigap coverage make financial sense for my specific situation? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself and an expert in the field, even if the politicians and pundits aren’t asking them.

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