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Depression and Mental Health in Florida

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Florida is one of the most beautiful and sought-after states to live in the United States. The peninsula not only offers almost year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, but it is surrounded by water and all its related activities. The state also has no income tax, which makes the above all the more welcoming.  People from around the country flock to Florida to escape colder climates and indulge in a relatively affordable retirement.

Despite the seeming pleasantness of Florida, mental illness is high in the state. Depression leads the way in mental health disorders. Mental health treatment in the state ranks last in the country. Precious few adolescents receive treatment for depression and other disorders. An article on the topic from the Fort Myers, Florida News-Press states that “Florida, which spends about $36 per person, is ahead of only one U.S. jurisdiction, Puerto Rico, where the per capita spending is about $20.”

With all that said, there are treatment programs for depression throughout the state and in the growing city of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Florida Depression Statistics Compared to the U.S.

Florida is a long and narrow state that is very populated. From one end to the other and one side to the other, its population is struggling with depression and mental illness.  Adolescents, adults, and older adults alike are living with some type of mental health disorder.  Depression is one of the top concerns.

A report from Mental Health in America ranks Florida 14th for youth with at least one major depressive episode, which is almost in the middle of the range in 2020. However, it ranked 20th in youth with a severe major depressive episode.  

To understand what that means, the organization says that “states with a ranking from 1 to 10 have a lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care. States with a ranking from 39 to 51 indicate that youth have a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.”

The same report ranked Florida fourth for adults with serious thoughts of suicide in 2020, which is a positive on the scale when compared to the country. Suicide rates were higher than homicide rates in all but five of Florida’s 67 counties. Also, 61.7% of adults with any mental illness (AMI) in Florida did not receive treatment. The national average is 55.8 percent.

 The Florida Behavioral Health Association notes there are about 490 mental health treatment facilities in Florida. They also state that depression and anxiety have a heavy economic impact on the state in lost productivity. Globally, the disorders cost one trillion dollars per year in lost work.

Throughout the country, depression statistics rose throughout  2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that during late June, 40% of adults in the country said they struggled with mental health or substance use. Thirty-one percent said they struggled with anxiety or depression.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Floridians aged 25 to 34. It is also the third leading cause of death for those ages 10 to 24 and fourth for people ages 35 to 44.

Depression is not a mental illness disorder to ignore, no matter the age of the person struggling with it.

Most Common Types of Depression

There are seven different types of depression, of which two are more common. Depression is defined as a mood disorder that can cause a persistent feeling of depressed mood or sadness and a profound loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure.

Depression affects many aspects of a person’s life, from how they think, behave, and physically feel. It can interfere with everyday tasks and with relationships.

The most common types of depression are:

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This type of depression is usually thought of as clinical depression. Its main characteristics include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest/pleasure
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation (not just restless or slow, noticeable every day)
  • Feeling worthless/inappropriate guilt
  • Decreased concentration
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Once called dysthymia, PDD is a type of chronic depression that lasts for more days and has a short period when symptoms are not present. Nonetheless, when symptoms are felt, they are persistent and long-lasting. They include the above symptoms and include trouble concentrating, low self-esteem, and sleeping too much.

depression-treatment-in-florida

Depression Treatment in Florida

Treatment for depression may include prescription antidepressants, talk therapy, and other types of therapy best suited for the individual. If the individual has been self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, they will first undergo detox at a detox or addiction treatment center. If not, then an assessment of their overall physical and mental health will be conducted. 

Also important to the assessment process is for the therapist to know if the individual has a strong support network or not. It is vital to have strong, positive support when working through the root causes of depression.  No one needs to go through treatment for depression without the love and support of those in their life.

If the mental health concerns are minor or short-lived, if anxiety or depression comes and goes, it is best to seek help before they become significant issues to contend with. Regular visits with a therapist can be beneficial in observing any changes to a person’s mental health.

We understand that there are factors that can get in the way of seeking treatment for depression. The stigma of depression can keep a person from finding help and support. Different cultures, family members, significant others, friends, and workplaces can alter a person’s opinion about needing treatment, as can the cost of treatment.

Affordable Treatment for Depression

Treatment for depression does not have to bankrupt a person. There are affordable financing options for just about everyone. Most insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act cover mental health treatment. If you do not have insurance, Vista Pines Health offers payment plans or the possibility of obtaining a small loan to pay for treatment through a partner.

Depression can be debilitating, but with treatment and support, you can learn how to be the best person you are. If you want to feel better and more like your old self, reach out to your primary health provider or a mental health treatment facility near you.

Treatment for depression is effective when it addresses multiple needs at the same time. Mental health treatment should be unique to your individual needs and cover any mental, physical, and social issues that could be the cause of your depression. Licensed therapists can help you find and sort through any underlying issues in your life and help you draft a plan for approaching them. Make today the day you break through the barriers and begin life anew. You deserve to be the person you want to be.

Sources

Ft. Myers News-Press. (2019, May 5) Mending Minds. A crisis without end: Florida ranks last among states in spending for mental health. Zeitlin, J., Gluck, F. from https://www.news-press.com/in-depth/news/local/2019/05/05/crisis-without-end-florida-ranks-last-among-states-spending-mental-health/3151091002/

Mental Health America. Youth Data 2021. Youth Ranking. from https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2021/mental-health-america-youth-data

Mental Health America. Adult Data 2021. Adult Ranking. Adults With Serious Thoughts Of Suicide 2021. from https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2021/mental-health-america-adult-data#four

Florida Behavioral Health Association. Mental Health in Florida. Florida – Facilities and Hospitalization Statistics. from https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.fadaa.org/resource/resmgr/files/mental_health/MentalHealthInFlorida_Brochu.pdf

Florida Behavioral Health Association. Mental Health in Florida. The Facts. from https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.fadaa.org/resource/resmgr/files/mental_health/MentalHealthInFlorida_Brochu.pdf

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, August 20) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. Czeisler, M. et. al. from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

Healthline. (2020, February 11) Everything You Want to Know About Depression. Types of depression. Higuera, V. from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression#types

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