Judd’s Death By Suicide Puts Spotlight on Mental Health

The stigma surrounding mental health disorders keeps many people suffering in silence, contemplating whether it’s a subject that should be acknowledged, or simply pushed aside. The reality is that millions of Americans are living with mental illness. Even those in the spotlight have severely struggled with the disease. Country Singer Naomi Judd recently died by suicide after a long-time struggle with depression.

Speaking Out About Mental Health Struggles

Judd, along with her family, was an advocate for mental health treatment. However, with some celebrities, it’s hard to see the heartache behind hundreds of happy performances.  In 2014, Robin Williams, who was referred to as “the most lovable and hilarious actor of our lifetime” committed suicide after decades of alcohol and drug addiction along with severe depression.

Comedians like SNL’s Pete Davidson have been open about mental health, utilizing their stand-ups to set the record straight about what it’s like living with bipolar disorder and advocating the benefits of treatment and medications. The ability to make people laugh while truthfully talking about feeling sad or depressed helps to put it all in perspective, creating a sense of comfort around the conversation.

It’s the perfect time to keep the discussion going because May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The 2022 campaign is focusing on the theme “Back to Basics,” by providing foundational knowledge about mental health & mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.

People are also encouraged to share stories of their own struggles and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

While many people may feel a bit sad from time to time, depressive disorders can affect a person’s ability to function in many areas of their life and tends to be persistent. A depression diagnosis would mean experiencing the below symptoms for at least two weeks.1 The signs and symptoms of depression include: 2

  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Sad moods lasting most of the day/week.
  • Frequent crying spells.
  • Loss of appetite, or greatly increased appetite.
  • Inability to sleep, or excessive sleeping.
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Irritability.
  • Loss of interests in hobbies and other activities.
  • Inability to fulfill roles in life, such as parenting or working.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions.
  • Moving very slowly or unable to do things at a normal pace. 

Substance Abuse and Depression

Substance misuse commonly occurs with depression and other mental health disorders. The presence of both issues is referred to as co-occurring disorders. Substance use can worsen symptoms of depression, and depression can contribute to substance use. Treating both issues at once is critical. Oxford Treatment Center not only treats drug and alcohol addiction but co-occurring mental health disorders as well.

If you or a loved one is looking for rehab in the Mississippi area there are treatment options available. Give our admissions navigators a call for help finding the right facility .

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