My friend hasn’t been herself lately. She seems terribly sad and withdrawn, and I don’t know how to help her. What’s the best way to approach someone who might be depressed?
A Concerned Friend
Kudos to you for looking for a way to help your friend. It’s hard to see someone you care about sink into sadness, and to not know what to say or do to help. Depression is an illness that affects a great many people—not just the one out of every 10 adults in the US suffering from major or clinical depression, but the people close to them too. To help you find the best way to support your friend, I sought advice from mental health experts, and also deep-dived into my and others’ personal experience with this important issue. Here’s what you need to know.
The staff members of Ventre Medical Associates believe in the importance of mental health, and are proud to help people be their best self, on both a physical and an emotional level. The professionals explain that Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a devastating condition that impacts millions of people, many of whom do not even realize that they are suffering from a legitimate medical issue.
Doctor of psychiatry PeterVentre knows that, with the school year getting under way yet again, parents everywhere are about to turn their attention to making sure that their children do well academically. However, for parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, this time presents an extra degree of stress and difficulty.
“ADHD is characterized by impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and a reduced ability to focus on any one thing for very long,” explains Dr. Ventre. “As such, children suffering from the disorder tend to have a harder time in their school lives. The grades and test scores they exhibit are often lower when compared to other students, and they require more use of special education services.”
According to Dr. Peter Ventre of Ventre Medical Associates, depression is “when feelings of intense sadness — including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless — last for days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your depression may be something more than sadness.“
In other words, when you feel sad for a day due to something bad that happened to you, there’s nothing wrong with that but when time doesn’t seem to be healing your emotional wounds and you find yourself constantly feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless, sometimes for days or weeks, then you’re experiencing a depressive episode and you need to do something about it.
According to doctor of psychiatry Peter Ventre, the word “addiction” is sometimes misunderstood. Common speech regularly uses the word to denote an intense love of a particular thing or action. People claim to be addicted to things like their phone, their favorite food, a popular band, another person, or anything else that they really enjoy.
Real, clinical addiction, however, is more than just loving something to the point of preoccupation. “True addiction is a psychological disability,” explains Dr. Peter Ventre. “It gets in the way of the rest of the addicted individual’s life, upsetting their social connections and responsibilities. It’s not about liking something, it’s about dependence. An addict doesn’t necessarily engage in addiction because they enjoy it too much. They do it because they need to.”
“Feeling sad or gloomy now and then is a perfectly normal part of human nature,” say the psychiatrists at Ventre Medical Associates, an outpatient psychiatry clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL. “However, if you’re feeling rundown and hopeless day in and day out, no longer enjoying things that once gave you pleasure, this isn’t normal. This is depression, and it’s a real problem.”
For those who’ve never experienced the full smothering effect of clinical depression, it can be hard to understand. To any outside observers, the depressed person in question may appear simply grumpy or unappreciative of their lives. And, in truth, a lot of people suffering from depression don’t exactly have the worst lots in life.
Doctor of psychiatry Peter Ventre examines the play preferences of children with autism spectrum disorder and how these preferences can be used to help autistic children and their parents cope with the condition.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, September 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ — As a psychiatric professional with his own clinic, Dr. Peter Ventre treats patients of all ages with a wide variety of mental conditions. This commonly includes many young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism spectrum disorder is present in little over one percent of all children born in the United States. The condition affects the development of the brain, usually restricting the ability of the child to adapt to new situations and modify their behavior according to social contexts. As such, children diagnosed with ASD typically have a more difficult time in social situations, even with other children their own age. Parents of children with ASD, meanwhile, face many more challenges than parents of children without the condition.
A global clinical trial involving South Florida children is studying a drug that — if proven safe and effective — would deliver a dose of hope to the autism community.
ConnectMe, an international initiative with more than 85 study centers in the United States and 185 worldwide, is investigating the effects of memantine on children with autism, Asperger’s and atypical autism (also called pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, or PDD-NOS). The hope is it will help treat the communication and social limitations at the heart of these disorders.