January 2015
Swank Health: Your monthly news from Swank HealthCare


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In This Issue

Did You Know?

Clinical Depression

Top List

10 signs to watch for

What's Going On?

HealthCare Service Excellence Conference (HCSEC)
American Organization of Nurse Executives Conference (AONE)
National Rural Health Association Conference (NRHA)

Now Trending

Clinical Depression

Recommended Readings

Recommended Courses*
  • #320913/#21313 The Rising Tide of Clinical Depression: “Y” Does “X” Make a Difference?
  • #314813 Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care: Symptoms and Treatment
  • #37913 Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care: Definitions and Incidence

* course numbers may vary by facility


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Expired Courses

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Did You Know?

Clinical Depression

Did you know that clinical depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting more than 19 million Americans each year? Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the most severe form of depression, also known as major depressive disorder. It affects people of all ages, including children.

There are many factors that often contribute to depression:

  • Biological – too little or too much of a brain chemical called “neurotransmitters”
  • Cognitive – those with a natural tendency for negative thinking or low self-esteem are more likely to become depressed
  • Medications – some medication side effects can cause depression
  • Gender – women suffer depression at a rate nearly twice that of men
  • Other Illnesses – depression occurs at a higher rate among those with certain other illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and hormonal disorders
  • Genetic – many sufferers of depression have a family history of the condition
  • Circumstantial – difficult life events like divorce, financial problems, or death of a loved one are known to contribute to clinical depression

The good news is that clinical depression is usually treatable. More than 80% of those who seek treatment report improvement in their symptoms. The most common treatments are antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Antidepressants work by balancing neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. They take 4 to 6 weeks to become fully effective. There are two main types of psychotherapies: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). CBT helps patients restructure negative thought patterns by interpreting the environment and interactions with others in a more positive way. It may also help by identifying things that contribute to depression so that behaviors may be changed. IPT helps people work through difficult relationships that may cause depression.

If you know someone who shows signs of depression there are things you can do to help:

  • Encourage them to see a doctor and let them know that there are treatments that can help
  • Be a good listener and offer emotional support through patience, understanding, and encouragement
  • Never dismiss comments about suicide and promptly report them to loved ones and the patient’s doctor
  • Help them make arrangements for appointments as soon as possible

What's Going On?

HealthCare Service Excellence Conference (HCSEC)

February 23-25, 2015
Hilton Long Beach – Long Beach, CA

More Information »

American Organization of Nurse Executives Conference (AONE)

April 15-18, 2015
Phoenix Convention Center – Phoenix, AZ

More Information »

National Rural Health Association Conference (NRHA)

April 14-17, 2015
Marriott Philadelphia Downtown – Philadelphia, PA

More Information »


Recommended Readings


Top List

All people feel sad or depressed at times. It is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, but when feelings become overwhelming, last for extended periods of time, and interfere with activities of daily life, clinical depression may be the cause. Here are 10 signs to watch for:

    Emotional
  1. Persistent, sad mood lasting two or more weeks
  2. Periods of crying for no apparent reason
  3. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, irritability, and/or anxiety
  4. Thoughts of death or suicide

  5. Behavioral
  6. Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  7. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  8. Neglecting responsibilities and/or personal appearance

  9. Physical
  10. Insomnia or long periods of oversleeping
  11. Changes in appetite
  12. Decreased energy, fatigue, headaches, or other physical symptoms that are not explained or don’t respond to treatment

Now Trending

Clinical Depression

Test your knowledge about depression by choosing either myth or fact on the following statements.

Myth or Fact

Depression is a normal part of aging.

Myth or Fact

Children who develop depression often continue to have episodes in adulthood.

Myth or Fact

The extract from St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an effective treatment for depression.


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Answer

Myth Studies show that most senior adults feel satisfied with their lives despite having more illnesses and physical problems.

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Answer

Fact Children with depression often continue to have episodes in adulthood. They are also more likely to have more severe illnesses in adulthood.

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Answer

Myth Studies have found that St. John’s wort is no more effective than placebo in treating major or minor depression. The herb may also interfere with certain medications used to treat heart disease, depression, seizures, and certain cancers. It may also reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

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