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Local Resources Available To Combat Mental Illness

Posted 1/25/2018

By Jared Janzen

HARVEY COUNTY—One out of five individuals suffer from mental illness such as depression or anxiety, according to Jennifer Truman, vice president of clinical services for Mirror, Inc.

Mirror, Inc., has offices in Newton to offer services to people with substance use disorders for drugs and alcohol, which Truman said often goes hand-in-hand with mental illness in the people they serve. In her work, she regularly works with helping people with mental illness.

Truman emphasized that people who think they may be suffering from depression or anxiety shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help.

“It’s OK to get help,” Truman said. “It doesn’t mean you’re weak.”

According to Truman, there are two types of depression: situational and clinical. Situational depression is triggered by an event, such as the loss of a loved one, but in time the person will pull him or herself out of depression.

Clinical depression, however, happens when a person’s brain stops producing dopamine, which would require an anti-depressant.

“The clinical depression, you can’t just put your boots on and go on,” she said.

Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are often genetic, Truman said.

“Anxiety can be stress-induced, or it’s sometimes just how people are wired,” she said. “It’s kind of like how you might be predispositioned to have cancer, but how do we know when it’s going to come up or if it will?”

Truman said sometimes it may be hard for a person to recognize they have depression or anxiety, but friends or family may notice signs.

“If you see a change in behaviors—whether they’re isolating, they’re gaining weight or losing weight, or sleeping a lot—those are usually signs,” she said, also adding irritability, lack of motivation and simply not acting like oneself as other warnings.

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