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June 05th, 2020

depressionCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Statistics show major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in any given year, and 1.9 million children, ages 3 to 17 have diagnosed depression.

Further numbers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show from 2013 to 2016, 8.1 percent of American adults aged 20 and over had depression in a given 2-week period, and about 80 percent of adults with depression reported at least some difficulty with work, home, and social activities because of their depression.

With such numbers nationwide, The Classy Rack wants to help those suffering from depression in Liberal. The store will be hosting an 8-week depression recovery class starting Monday, with each session starting at 6:30 p.m.

“We’ll be addressing causes of depression one by one and how to counter those causes and get through your depression. A lot of times people think ‘I’m depressed, I need an antidepressant pill,’ but for many, taking that antidepressant doesn’t fully cure them, it just covers up the symptoms and ends up not being the right solution,” Classy Rack Owner Peggy Lloyd said. “And unless you get to the root of the problem and deal with that, it’s very hard to recover from your depression. We’ll have a kind of survey that will go through different areas of your life where you might have suffered something that would cause depression, and those include genetic factors (which people really can’t do anything about as far as prevention), developmental factors (the way you were raised and how you grew up), lifestyle factors (the way you choose to live), circadian rhythms, nutrition and diet, toxic factors (maybe you were exposed to some heavy metals or other toxic substances), addiction factors, social factors, medical conditions and possible frontal lobe injuries (an injury that happened to the front of your head). With that, the frontal lobe is really the control center of the brain and if you’ve taken a hit to that area either in a contact sport or some other situation, that will have an effect on you. Those will be some of the things we’ll be addressing.”

“Major depression is a common and treatable mental disorder characterized by changes in mood, and cognitive and physical symptoms over a 2-week period. It is associated with high societal costs and greater functional impairment than many other chronic diseases, including diabetes and arthritis,” information from the CDC noted. “Depression rates differ by age, sex, income, and health behaviors. This report provides the most recent national estimates of depression among adults. Prevalence of depression is based on scores from the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), a symptom-screening questionnaire that allows for criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders.”

With most of the world in a rather chaotic state lately due to the coronavirus threat and other things, Lloyd said now is a good time to have such a class. 

“It's good to have something like this because of everything going on, this program also has some tools for stress control, which is what people are needing now more than anything else because the whole situation with the coronavirus is a stress problem since there's so many unknowns,” Lloyd said. “People don't know what they'll have to do for work, people don't know what to do with their children as far as childcare if they have to go to work, parents don't know how they'll make sure their children get their school work done – there's so much in a hurry people are needing to figure out, and that's causing quite a bit of stress. So we can help our attendees deal with those unknowns. This class comes right at the end of a very dark and gray winter season. People are used to staying indoors due to the cold and everything and don't realize they need sunshine in order to be healthy along with good water and fresh air and adequate rest, which are dealt with in the circadian rhythms section of this class. The human body was built to sleep at night and be active during the day, and people having to work the night shift at their jobs might be dealing with some type of depression because their body can't adjust to that turnaround and they're also not getting the sunshine they need. So those are some things we'll be drawing attention to.”

While the class’s start date is only a few days away, Lloyd said the class is still taking sign-ups. Due to restrictions, Lloyd said the class is limited to 10 people or less. 

“There's a story I tell the class about how a friend of mine took me to a depression recovery training program with her. I initially didn't think anything of it and my mindset was depression was mainly just in people's heads and they just needed to power through it and they'll eventually be okay,” Lloyd said. “So she'd talked me into going with her and when the presenter got up and started going through what depression looks like, my mouth dropped open and I turned to my friend and said 'That's me!' and she said 'I know!' So to encourage people to come, I would say it can't hurt, and since suicide is one of the many things that can occur in people who are depressed, you might learn something that could help not only yourself, but maybe others who might need some help. We are fully prepared to keep the class going as planned, but if there is an order of some type that prevents us from having it, we'll postpone it until we can have it again, and we've got contact information for the few people already signed up in case something does come up. And because of the restrictions already in place, we are limiting the class to 10 people in our classroom and we will be practicing social distancing and everything else that's been advised by the CDC and the state. And if we need to run a second class, we can prepare for that too.”

Overall, Lloyd said, she is ready to see how the class ends up and also added encouragement for people to seek help if they feel they are at that point. 

“A lot of people don't realize how much depression, a mental illness, has very real physical symptoms including headaches and stomachaches and the inability to get out of bed. 48,000 people per year come to the nation's ER facilities because they've tried to commit suicide, which I feel is way, way too much, and if we can help those people, that's what we want to do. Come to the class and come learn, we care, that's what The Classy Rack is all about,” Lloyd said. “It's always so amazing to me being able to help people. A couple weeks ago we had a program titled 'Depression: Its Causes and Cures' and we wanted people to be aware of what depression looks like. That was at the beginning of this coronavirus situation and only a handful of people came, and there were a few of them who came to me and said they needed help. So that's what I'm looking for, the ability to help someone who needs it. I'm a certified depression recovery counselor and I've been doing these classes for 25 years, so I'm happy to keep these going.”

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