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Help Therapy Newsletter - February 2022

Updated: Feb 3, 2022


The Mental Health Connection



2022 is off to a great start here at Help Therapy!


Our network of practitioners inside and outside the San Diego area is growing. We’re expanding our reach into Arizona and Texas for psychological evaluations and since January, we’ve added nine providers. Besides offering evaluations, these mental healthcare practitioners provide other services and therapies, including pre-surgical screenings, personality assessments and ketamine therapy. A list of these provider partners is further down in this newsletter.


Help Therapy is also proud to sponsor CICAHM 2022. This year’s theme is Managing Change in a Changing World. It will focus on mental health issues of children and adolescents in the age of the pandemic. It takes place March 11, 2022 in San Diego. For more information and to register to attend, visit CICAHM 2022.


We look forward to seeing you there!


Annette Conway, PsyD

President

Help Therapy

 

February is Black History and Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month


Black History Month


In 1915, fifty years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was founded. Now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926.


In 1976, fifty years after the first celebration honoring the contributions of African Americans, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, Black History Month was proclaimed.


In 2021, President JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR also proclaimed February as Black History Month, stating, “It is long past time to confront deep racial inequities and the systemic racism that continue to plague our Nation”.


Read the proclamation here.

Black History Month honors the struggles and triumphs of African Americans throughout U.S. history and brings awareness to the racial inequities that still plague our nation.


National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month


According to one report, youths between 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. One study also revealed that approximately 10% of adolescents reported being the victim of physical violence by an intimate partner during the year prior to the study. Girls and young women are more vulnerable to experiencing violence in their relationships and often suffer long-term health effects—both physical and psychological.


President Barack Obama proclaimed February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in 2013. Read the proclamation here.


 

Bringing “Doom Scrolling” to Light


If used correctly, social media can be a means of entertainment, information and active engagement. But, since the development of social media platforms, concerns over adverse health effects these platforms may be causing continue to rise as the way people use these platforms evolve. Long gone are the times when people turned to social media as just a place to post vacation photos and watch videos of cats doing tricks. These platforms have evolved as the go-to for constant updates on what’s happening in the world. And as with most trending news, it’s not usually good news. The isolation brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused more people to turn to social media to stay connected, keep up with the latest news and just pass the time. And, those already using social media regularly before the pandemic rely on it even more. As the effects of isolation, negativity, despair and other consequences of the pandemic come to light, obsession with social media expands far beyond FOMO. It’s further enabled “doom scrolling” or “doom surfing.” These are terms used to describe the tendency to fixate on news, events and scenarios resulting in severe agitation, causing physical discomfort. Constantly viewing negativity can lead to catastrophizing— focusing on the negative in all situations. Over time, this can lead to a host of mental health issues. Of course, the effects of this negativity can be devastating for those already suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions. Until more people become aware of the possible dangers of using social media and the real mental health issues that can arise, people suffering from “doom surfing” will continue.


 

Kidney Disease and Depression: The Need for Support


When it comes to chronic medical conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are often top of mind. But there is another chronic disease that needs attention—especially as it relates to depression. That disease is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).


According to the CDC:

  • 37 million adults in the U.S. have CKD—over 14%

  • As many as 9 in 10 adults with CKD don’t know it

  • About 2 in 5 adults with severe CKD don’t realize it

This disease has caught the attention of some, specifically Monogram Health—a tech-empowered kidney disease management company. This start-up received $160 million in funding from Humana in June 2021 and is building a national network of nurses, nephrologists, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers.


But another health care professional plays an essential role in managing CKD—the mental health practitioner.


There’s a high prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients with CKD. Depression has long been associated with end-stage kidney disease. But, as high as 34.5% of patients on dialysis are likely to develop depression and close to 24% of patients with CKD suffer from depression.


Another study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases found that 20% of patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease also suffered from depression.


A patient with CKD may or may not be on dialysis, and the damage to the kidney may be reversible. CKD is a progressive disease that can move through five stages diagnosed by specific tests. Following stage five is End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). A patient diagnosed with ESRD requires ongoing dialysis or a kidney transplant. It’s not reversible.


As reported by the National Kidney Foundation, people with CKD (even in its earliest stages) who are unemployed, have diabetes or other chronic medical condition or have other mental health issues are more prone to experience depression.


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