The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 20 million Americans experience depression significant enough to warrant medical treatment, and 11 percent of those over 12 years of age are given antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the nation. But the drugs are not without their shortfalls.
Catherine Willner, senior vice president-Florida for Elements Behavioral Health, is featured in Brickell Magazine, which is distributed throughout Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties.
Willner addressed the importance of Latin families seeking addiction treatment from providers who understand both the Spanish language and culture. Traditionally, Willner noted, world-class treatment has only been available in English, leaving Spanish-speaking clients and their family members trying to comprehend the complexity and nuance of psychotherapy in a foreign tongue.
Add to that the fact that even highly trained therapists, if they lack cultural understanding, can misinterpret or misdiagnose Latin cultural norms. Willner cites the significant degree of family involvement and support found in most Latin cultures as an example. While this is a “positive and protective factor for the client,” U.S. therapists are trained to see it as “enabling,” and encourage clients to repair what is essentially a “healthy and normal factor in their daily lives.”
In the multicultural/bilingual addiction treatment program at Lucida Treatment Center, every staff member speaks Spanish and has received extensive training in cultural sensitivity.
“As a result, we’re much better equipped to meet the needs of our national and international Latin clients,” Willner said.
As human beings, we’re all unique in so many wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) ways. Each of us has particular idiosyncrasies and foibles that make us endearing to some and annoying to others. But if something is “unique”, does that also mean it’s “abnormal”? After all, “normal” is one of the most subjective words in the dictionary. What’s normal to one culture is bizarre to another. And what’s normal at age 3 may be considered extremely abnormal at age 33.
The campaigns by medical professionals, public health officials and former sufferers to raise awareness about the true prevalence and seriousness of depression have achieved excellent results, for the most part. But for a variety of reasons, depression in teens is still being underdiagnosed and inadequately treated. We have a long way to go before we will be able to say that everything that could be done to help young people overcome this subtle but insidious form of mental illness is being done, and that kids everywhere know the signs and risks of depression and are coming forward when they know they need help.
Florida is one of the stop destinations for Spring break because of the beaches, but it’s also one of the places where kids use a lot of drugs such as Molly (ecstasy).
One young woman (Maria) talks about how she was first offered drugs for free, when you ask for more that’s when they start charging. She was hooked on Molly’s for two years – lost her job and dropped out of school. Continue reading
Postpartum depression can make it difficult for a new mother to bond with her baby and reengage in everyday activities, and it can be difficult to distinguish the disorder from the more general and mild “baby blues.” In order to promote early intervention, it’s important for healthcare providers to understand the factors that can contribute to postpartum so it’s recognized and diagnosed as soon as possible. A recent study looked at the role that fear of childbirth plays in developing postpartum.
It’s no secret that the U.S. has been through some tough economic times, dating back to 2009. How does this tie in with worsening mental health problems among certain populations? A new comparative analysis of two National Health Surveys may provide some insight.
Overcoming alcoholism, illicit or prescription drug abuse, overeating, workaholism, and other process addictions is tough in many respects. Not only is going through detox to clear out toxic substances difficult to go through, there’s also the issue of learning about addiction, coping measures, getting involved with 12-step self-help groups, and beginning the ongoing process of recovery.
Several years ago, one of the major pharmaceutical companies had a very cute, animated television commercial promoting one of its newer antidepressants. The indisputable, underlying message? Take this little pill and you’ll soon be happy again.
If only it was that simple!