September 27, 2023 2:59 am
USM Mental Health Experts Not Surprised by Rising Numbers in Depression Poll

06/05/2023 – 08:02am | By: Van Arnold

Tension at function stress at college turmoil at house grief loneliness. These are
just a couple of of the variables that can lead to bouts of depression. In reality, a Gallup
poll published final month located that levels of lifetime and present depression have
reached an all-time higher for Americans in 2023.

The price of U.S. residents who report that they had been depressed at some point in their
lives hit 29% this year, according to the new poll. The reported level of these at the moment
depressed reached 18%. Each figures mark an all-time higher in Gallup’s polling information.

These alarming figures come as no surprise to Dr. Michael Madson, Professor and Undergraduate
Plan Coordinator in the College of Psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi

“These numbers are not surprising, specially in relation to the post-pandemic impact,”
mentioned Madson. “We located in our investigation with a national sample of college students
that the feelings of depressed mood persisted when we surveyed students for two semesters
right after the onset of the (COVID-19) pandemic even as campuses had been reopening, and students
returned to campus.”

Madson notes the significance of differentiating amongst persons who report feeling sad/depressed
versus these who meet the criteria to be diagnosed with depression.

“Base prices of diagnosed depression have a tendency to be decrease than these numbers, but it is
not surprising that there continues to be an enhance in the quantity of persons who
report feeling depressed,” he mentioned.

The trend of depression levels tracked by Gallup shows a clear spike considering that the pandemic’s origin in spring
2020. The lifetime depression price in 2019 was 21.six%, which jumped to 28.six% by 2021.
Levels of present depression steadily rose from 12.five% in 2019 to the present price
of 17.eight%.

Heidi Nelson, Director of Student Counseling Solutions (SCS) at USM, points out that
the University can not track or supply definitive numbers relating to students who have
skilled depression. “But we have observed an enhance in the quantity of students experiencing
mental wellness crises and security issues, and students reaching out for general mental
wellness supported connected to depression and anxiousness symptoms,” mentioned Nelson.

The Gallup poll revealed that females have a drastically greater level of lifetime
depression at 36.7% as compared to males at 20.four%. The highest price of present depression in an
age group is 24.six% for adults aged 18 to 29. This marked a sharp enhance from only
13% in 2017.

Barbara Cheatle, Mental Wellness Counselor, Student Counseling Solutions at USM, cites
quite a few important contributing variables to the rise in depression levels reported by students.

“These would include things like adjustments/loss of help systems from the pandemic enhanced
social isolation social media transitions in living and function arrangements connected
to the pandemic lowered stigma about mental wellness connected to advocacy and campaigns
to market discussion of mental wellness,” mentioned Cheatle.

Added Cheatle: “There is also the possibility of a greater reporting price connected to
younger generations increasing up with additional access and sources for mental wellness, and
outlets to express their mental wellness experiences.”

As far as coping mechanisms to assistance any one suffering sadness or feelings of depression,
Madson gives some basic guidance.

“One terrific way to cope with feeling depressed is to seek expert assistance from a
mental wellness expert, such as a psychologist, who can assistance persons much better realize
what they are experiencing although studying about tools to handle their encounter,”
he mentioned.

Madson explains that for some persons medication is necessary and helpful drugs
are readily available to treat depression. A different viable solution is psychiatric assistance.

“Beyond expert assistance, persons can speak with household and pals about their encounter
as effectively as how these persons may possibly assistance,” mentioned Madson. “It appears simplistic, but we know
that for several persons, operating to re-engage in activities they obtain pleasurable can
assistance to combat feeling depressed.”

Shelby Reeves, Mental Wellness Counselor, Student Overall health Solutions at USM, stresses
that students who could possibly be experiencing symptoms of depressions are encouraged to
stroll-in or contact SCS for assessment and connection with help and sources on campus
and in the neighborhood.”

“For faculty and employees, we encourage them to attain out to EAP for mental wellness help,”
mentioned Reeves. “In addition, any one can attain out for mental wellness help by texting
or calling 988 to access the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.”

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