“Depression: How to Recognize It and Tips to Fight It Off”

By John Peck |  February 25, 2017

You've probably heard the saying that high blood pressure (hypertension) is the 'silent killer'. And we recently told you about our clinic's presentation on high blood pressure at the Boulevard Residence Center on Queens Blvd. near New Life Fellowship.
But now, let us tell you about another debilitating condition: Depression, which makes 'the silent sufferer'.
Laury Traore, our social worker, and James Patterson, our research associate, gave insight to residents at the same Boulevard location recently in a two-part presentation on “Depression: How to Recognize It and Tips to Fight It Off”. Depression is one of those conditions where you must have the help of others to fight with you, when you can't fight it off on your own. Or else, you become the 'silent sufferer', and no one knows what you're going through.
Some at the presentation were asked about what they knew about depression.  Several men said they have personally experienced depression in the past. Others had questions about how to help their friends who have clear symptoms of depression. Nick, one of the men in charge of coordinating the meals, told them that help is also available to them through the church. As the presentation ended, we offered a prayer for our guests and the meal.  
Laury said, “I can see that mental health is a real need that can be met through the work of the health center. The talks on depression and other mental health topics are a good start to many more needed conversations. Since there is such a stigma surrounding depression, many of those who attended were not initially very comfortable in sharing their struggles. It’s important to continue the conversation and build a relationship so that those who need help can be better supported.” 
Depression is different from sadness and affects 6% of the American population every year, which is about 16 million adults. Here are some of the tips shared with our guests on how to handle depression:
●      Spend more time with people who support you-and less time with people who don't support you
●      Make time for enjoyable, relaxing activities
●      Be gentle with yourself, set realistic goals and take small steps to reach them
●      Delay major decisions, such as quitting your job or dropping out of school, until your depression improves
●      Avoid alcohol and drugs as they can trigger and worsen depression and make recovery more difficult
●      A healthy lifestyle is also crucial in preventing and fighting depression. Regular physical activity helps prevent and even treat depression. Exercise boosts mood and helps you sleep better.
If you know someone with a potential for suicide because of depression, help is available 24 hours a day through the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE at  1-800-273-8255, or Text Hello to 741-741. And for print information, see this link:  https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/public/dohmhnews10-04.pdf