National Depression Month

Rockingham County: Challenge & Resilience
On the Shelf
United Way

Dear friends,

Depression can be invisible—there are no crutches or wheelchairs or often any other outward signs of illness. Yet many of you reading know the pain it can cause, either in your own life or the life of someone you love.

There are many reasons for sadness in our broken world, from pain that comes from war and storm to pain that begins with broken relationships or disappointment. However, there are also times when no matter how well things seem to go, depression grabs a person and will not let go. If you find yourself wondering if you or someone else might be dealing with depression, please do not hesitate to contact us. There is someone here at Associates who can help.

Praying peace for all of us in the storms that we face, inside and out.

Heath Greene
Executive Director


National Depression Awareness Month

As days get shorter and and the calendar rolls toward the end of the year, depression rates rise. It is appropriate that October is National Depression Awareness month.

“As fall comes on, I do typically see higher rates of people coming in with depression symptoms,” says Jay Slaydon, a marriage and family therapist at Associates. “The dark and increasing cold are factors.  People stay in more and are less interactive during the winter months, and losing that support and socialization can really hurt.”

Slaydon also pointed out that depression often comes with other diagnoses and issues.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression affects:

  • More than 40 percent of those with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • 25 percent of those who have cancer
  • 27 percent of those with substance abuse problems
  • 50 percent of those with Parkinson's disease
  • 50 to 75 percent of those who have an eating disorder
  • 33 percent of those who've had a heart attack

Depression can be serious, but it is both common and treatable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans between the ages of 15 and 44. About 9 percent of adult Americans report having feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or guilt that generate a diagnosis of depression.

Many people never seek treatment, but psychotherapy and other treatments including medication can effectively help those with depression.


Depression: Signs and Symptoms

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Information from National Institute for Mental Health

 Rockingham County: Challenge and Resilience

Eden, NC, and the surrounding communities in Rockingham County have endured the exodus of manufacturing companies amid a changing economy. “When I was growing up in Eden, it was a prosperous little town,” says Jay Slaydon, a marriage and family therapist at Associates who splits his time between the Rockingham County satellite and the Winston-Salem office.

Loss or transitions are common triggers for depression, and Slaydon says he sees many clients who are dealing with mental health issues not helped by the economic climate.

“We use all the Client Assistance Fund money available, and could really use a lot more,” Slaydon says. The satellite office sees a multitude of clients with depression, anxiety, trauma and grief-related issues.

Miller Brewery, a large industry for Eden, has announced its exit effective early in 2016. Belk Department Store, long a fixture in town, will close its doors in January. These are the latest in a long string of losses for Rockingham County area residents.

“There are strong, resilient people there, though,” says Slaydon. “Some of the best people I know are there. There’s so much being shaken around them; they just need something to hold onto.”

The Associates in Christian Counseling satellite in Rockingham County exists to make quality Christian mental healthcare more accessible to those north of the Piedmont and in southern Virginia. Heath Greene, Associates director, echoes Slaydon’s explanation of the area’s challenges.

“It’s a huge issue,” he says. “My hope would be that people would be called to pray for the location, for the people there, for Jay and for the ministry itself.”

On the Shelf–October

Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn't Make Sense
by Ravi Zacharias  and Vince Vitale 

The authors write with great respect for the complexity of the issue, recognizing that some who read it will be in the trenches of deep suffering themselves and others questioning the very existence of a loving God. This book attempts to provide answers to the problem of pain and suffering with emotional sensitivity and intellectual integrity.

"Both for Christians and skeptics alike, this volume is as accessible and helpful a treatment of the problem of suffering that you can find. Anyone interested in apologetics in general-and the argument against God from evil in particular-should own and read it."—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

Rising Strong
by Brené Brown  

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall. In this bestseller, a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up.

This is the time of year when many companies begin “recruiting”
United Way givers among their employees.
If you join your employer in giving to the United Way,
remember you may designate your gift (completely or in part)
to Associates in Christian Counseling by writing in our number: 2062


Words to Keep

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”
Psalms 40:1-3

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

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This e-newsletter is published monthly by Associates in Christian Counseling Andrea Greene, Editor
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