We're starting a five-week period called "the holidays." We're supposed to look forward to the holidays and hope that they will be a time of happiness, friendliness, fellowship, and harmony. Yet often our anticipation and excitement turns into feelings of depression, commonly called holiday blues. Symptoms can include headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends.

Part of what happens in the holiday season, in terms of mood changes and anxiety, may occur because of the stressfulness of holiday events. Overdrinking, overeating, and fatigue may also cause it. The demands of the season are many: shopping, cooking, travel, houseguests, family reunions, office parties, more shopping and extra financial burden.

International Survivors of Suicide Day is November 21st.

I wanted to share a few statistics on suicide as well as awareness on supporting people who are survivors of suicide.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)

  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)

  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)

  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

  • 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)

  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).

  • 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)

  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)

  • The highest increase in suicide is in males 50+ (30 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54 (9 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+ (36 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed. (SMH)


When searching for the right therapy to help a patient reach remission treating depression, it can (at times) become very frustrating from patients. Approximately 2/3 of individuals do not achieve remission for depression with serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) monotherapy. Basically, this means that a psychiatrist who has 20 clients and is treating them for depression could have 14 who have no (or very little) improvement with their symptoms. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a term that is used to describe these type of patients. It is used to describe people with Major Depressive Disorder that do not reach remission after multiple antidepressant trials.

With the polar vortex upon us earlier than ever this year, it's important to remember that although most people may feel a little down during the winter months, a number of individuals actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, often referred to as SAD. SAD is a form of depression that occurs seasonally, typically with symptoms beginning in the fall, and abating in the spring.

Symptoms are similar to those of major depression disorder, and include low energy, lack of interest in doing things, increased sleep, increased appetite, unhappiness, and feelings of hopelessness. SAD is a problem for many Americans living in northern latitudes, where sunlight is scarce during the winter months, and it is often too cold to go outside even when the sun is out.

Our office is now offering genetic testing as a part of our medication management program. Great Lakes TTC, LLC utilizes Millennium Health to investigate a person’s ability to metabolize medications effectively and to reduce potential of secondary side effects.

The process includes a saliva sample that is collected at our office and shipped to a lab located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Results are received in 5-7 days approximately for your provider to review. Once a month we also have a Millennium Lab Assistant in office, for collections as well.

Testing is covered by most insurances and Millennium offers an income sensitive repayment plan option for others. Results can also be used as tier therapy evidence for insurance companies to authorize medications without having to trial and fail insurance formulary requirements.

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