The Power of Self-Care and Protecting Mental Health, with Kati Morton

Psych2Go’s Michelle Rivas and Kati Morton discuss the power self-care and protecting your mental health. We’re also going to be touching on Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health access! Get your questions answered by Kati Morton in this special episode of Ask an Advocate! You’ll be able to engage with us LIVE to have your questions answered! May 11th, 2023, @ 12 p.m. PST time.
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*If you are someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you’re worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the 988 Lifeline network is available 24/7. Please text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit their website here:


Depression – What You Need to Know

Depression is a common illness. It’s a serious disorder that can cause many different symptoms and make it hard to get along with others or work. It can also lead to suicide. It’s important to get treatment for depression as soon as possible.

Depression may happen for a short time or longer. It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Symptoms of depression are different for everyone, but they include sad or hopeless feelings, trouble with thinking and sleeping, aches and pains, changes in appetite, low self-esteem, thoughts of hurting yourself or others, a feeling of worthlessness, and a loss of interest in usual activities. In children and teens, depression can cause clinginess, irritability, refusal to go to school or other problems. People with severe depression can have thoughts of hurting themselves or trying to kill themselves (suicidal thoughts).

Often, people with mental health conditions, like depression, don’t realize they’re sick. Symptoms may seem like “just being blue,” or they can be mistaken for other illnesses, especially heart disease or cancer. It’s important to see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Sometimes, depression occurs along with other medical conditions, such as thyroid disease or anemia. And it can be harder to treat those medical conditions than depression itself. Getting a thorough physical exam and looking at your family history can help your doctor diagnose depression.

Depression can be treated with medicine, psychotherapy (talk therapy), or both. Talking therapies, like cognitive behavioral and interpersonal therapy, can help you change the distorted views that lead to depression. They can also teach you healthier ways to handle stress and relationships.

Antidepressant medicines can change the way your brain chemicals work and improve your mood. But it can take 4 to 6 weeks for these medicines to work. And it’s important to keep taking them even if you don’t feel better right away. Some people need to switch or add medicines to find the right one for them.

Lifestyle changes can be helpful for people with depression, too. For example, exercise, sleep, healthy eating, and social support all can make a difference. Sometimes, just making these changes is enough to lift depression.

Several studies suggest that there are changes in the structure and function of brain cells in people with depression. Researchers are learning more about how these changes may contribute to depression and other mental health disorders.

Research also suggests that there are differences in the way certain hormones work in people with depression. They may be affected by a chemical imbalance, or by a response to certain triggers, such as stressful events or a loss. Sometimes, the hormones involved are changed because of pregnancy or the weeks or months after birth (postpartum depression), thyroid problems, menopause, or other conditions. Various other factors also appear to be linked to depression, including genetics and a person’s environment.

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