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Time to overcome the shadow ! Depression diagnosis and treatment in NYC

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

How are you?

Good! and you?

I am good too.


Scripted questions = scripted answers and we are all good, always good, “fantastic”, sometimes “very well thank you” … and there is a little tone inclination ,little fake enthusiasm, so everybody is pacified and we all move on… Yet there is a shadow underneath all that enthusiasm! A shadow of depression that remains increasingly frequent and pervasive. Depression casts a shadow over the lives of millions of Americans. Frequently unrecognized, untreated, or simply hidden underneath the smile depression destroys the quality of life, impairs functioning and sometimes can escalate into a tragic outcome. We need to recognize, diagnose and treat depression better!


Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 48,000 deaths by suicide occurring in 2019.


Depressed in New York City ?!


In the city that never sleeps, where the hustle and bustle of daily life never seems to cease, it can be easy to overlook the silent struggle that many people face behind the closed doors. Every 16 hours, someone dies from suicide in New York City. Based on Community Health Survey data, 2.4% of NYC adults ages 18 and older seriously thought about killing themselves at some point in the past 12 months. Among those with suicidal ideation, 14.1% attempted suicide in the past 12 months.


“If you can make it there you can make it anywhere” but what if you are not making it? What if most of your days are struggle and pain? What if the glory of NYC is passing you by and joy of life is impossible to find? Think about the Vessel, Hudson Yards. We acknowledge with pain that not everybody will go to see the Vessel so they can discuss how beautiful (or not) it may be. We are all hit with the sad reality that some people will go with a plan to jump from the 150 feet tall construction. After 4 people lost their life to suicide, in order to prevent further loss of life from this landmark the Vessel is no longer accessible to the public.


What does this mean for you ?


Understanding national statistics is s important and we know that the statistics is alarming, but statistics is an interesting animal. No matter what the statistical risk percentage is, if it happens to you, then for you it is 100%. So, think about the true answer to the question “how are you”. Maybe for whatever reason the real answer is “not so good”. Maybe you are barely dragging yourself out of the bed. Maybe you cannot shake off the sadness and the gloominess? What if nothing makes sense any more and the things that used to feel wonderful lack their usual joy and meaning? There is no energy, it is so hard to concentrate, your appetite is not the same neither is your weight, your sleep is not great. You keep on pushing but you ae not yourself a more and weeks are passing by, you might even think life might not be not worth living… or worse should be ended


Cliché is true “it is ok not to be ok”. I am not proposing you should spill your guts to the kind stranger at the Whole Foods who asks you “how are you today” but tuning in with yourself and acknowledging that thinks might not be good is a crucial first step leading to the decision to get help. Normal spectrum of human emotions includes sadness. We are all challenged by life and sometimes very very sad but depression, depression is a disease, disease that impairs your whole being to the point that you can’t function, disease that can be life threatening and the disease that is curable. If you suffer or think you might be suffering from depression reach out! because you do not have to live under the shadow.


My practice is just one of the options.

First step might be a simple as calling or texting 988 – NYC suicide and crisis lifeline or you may visit https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/


NYC 988 is New York City’s free, confidential support, crisis intervention, and information and referral service for anyone seeking help for mental health and/or substance misuse concerns, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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