NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Do What with My Bootstraps? (part 2)

Do What with My Bootstraps? (part 1)



A variety of signs/symptoms of depression were included in last week’s column.  If one or more of the signs/symptoms of depression are present in you or someone you know for a period of two weeks or more, and aren’t connected with an understandable disappointment or loss, the person experiencing them could be depressed.

Depression is more common than you may think.  An estimated 16.2 million adults have had at least one major depressive episode, and many more have a milder form of depression. 

Depression is a complex medical condition and requires medical treatment just like any other medical condition.  Without treatment, depression can be fatal.

From 1999-2016, the suicide rate in North Dakota spiked 57%, the highest in the nation.  Part of it may be attributed to our stoic, independent culture – our belief that we need to hide our struggles or ignore them or “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.”  But that doesn’t work. 

Depression requires intervention. 

If you are worried about someone:

  • Ask if they are OK.  They might not even realize their behavior has changed to a noticeable degree.  Be ready to share with them what you are observing and why you are concerned.  Use words and tone of voice that is non-judgmental and non-shaming.
  • Listen with your ears AND your heart, so you really hear what they really have to say. 
  • Do not debate the value of life with them, do not minimize their problems; do not give advice.
  • Let them know you care about them.  Reassure them of it.
  • Ask if they have considered harming themselves.  This can be an uncomfortable question to ask.  Ask it anyway.  Research has shown that bringing up the topic of someone who is suicidal will NOT put them at greater risk for suicide.  In fact, it usually has the opposite effect because it de-stigmatizes the topic and invites them to open up.

Since not everyone experiences and handles stress in the same way, there is not a one-size-fits all approach to treating depression, stress, and anxiety. 

There are multiple, evidence-based treatments that can help, ranging from medications to counseling.

The big thing to remember is this:  No one has to go it alone.  Sources of help are accessible:

  • Abound Counseling at Lutheran Social Services of ND offers in-person and statewide telehealth counseling services.  Payment options include sliding fee, health insurance and no-fee options.  Their number to call is 701-223-1510.
  • In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
  • The FirstLink Help line number is 2-1-1.
  • National suicide-prevention hotline can be reached 24/7 at 800-273-8255

NDSU Extension online resources for dealing with farm/ranch stress are at www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmranchstress

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/work-boots-boots-shoes-footwear-4133817  (downloaded 6/18/19)


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