Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Highland Ridge Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, visitation is no longer allowed at Highland Ridge Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Alternate methods of communication, including telehealth, are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • Screening protocols have been enhanced.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Signs, Effects & Symptoms of Depression

Understanding the Signs of Depression

Understanding the signs of depression

Everyone experiences feelings of sadness and hopelessness at times; especially when a major life stressor is involved. For some people, however, these feelings of sadness and worthlessness are more than a case of the blues; they are the hallmarks of a very common mental disorder – depressive disorders. Depressive disorders are illnesses that affect the mind, body, and thoughts in such a way that they interfere with daily life, normal functioning, and cause pain for both the person who has the disorder and those who love them. Some forms of depressive disorders are slightly different or they may develop due to unique life circumstances. The most common depressive disorders include:

Major depressive disorder (major depression or simply depression) involves a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, eat, work, and enjoy pleasurable activities. Major depressive disorder is often so debilitating that it prevents a person from functioning normally in his or her daily life. Some people only struggle through one episode of major depressive disorder during their lifetimes, while others may have multiple episodes of major depression.

Minor depression is a disorder that is characterized by symptoms persisting longer than two weeks that do not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. However, without proper treatment, people who have minor depression are at a much greater risk for developing major depressive disorder.

Dysthymia or dysthymic disorder is characterized by long-term symptoms persisting two years or longer that may not be intense enough to cause disability, but can prevent feelings of wellness or normal functioning. People who have dysthymia may have one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes.

While many people who have a depressive disorder never seek treatment, it is a very treatable condition. With the right amount of medication, therapies, and lifestyle changes, people who have depression are able to go on to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Statistics

Statistics for depression

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Every year, about 6.7% of the adults in the United States experience major depression; the average age of onset is 32 years of age. Overall, between 20 and 25% of adults may suffer an episodes of major depression at some time during their lifetime. In addition, 3.3% of teens aged 13 to 18 have experienced a seriously debilitating depressive episode.

Causes & Risk Factors

Causes & risk factors for depression

It’s generally believed that depression is caused by a combination of risk factors, genetic causes, environmental triggers, and physical changes in the body. The most common causes and risk factors for depression include:

Genetic: Depression and depressive disorders tend to run in families. People who have a first-degree relative who has depression are more likely to develop the disorder than others without a similar history. However, depressive disorders also occur in individuals without any family history.

Physical: Neuroimaging studies of the brains of people who have depression show a structural difference in the areas of the brain involved in sleep, appetite, and behavior. Additionally, decreased amounts of certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, can lead to depressive disorders.

Environmental: The trauma of certain negative life events that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope with stressful situations can lead to depression in some people who have other risk factors for depression.

Risk Factors:

  • Poor social support
  • Single parenting
  • Being female
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Trauma
  • High periods of stress
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Low self-esteem
  • Personality traits such as being overly dependent, pessimistic, or self-critical
  • Serious, chronic medical condition
  • Certain types of medications
  • Childhood trauma – especially neglect and abuse

Symptoms

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depressive disorder will vary tremendously based upon type of depressive disorder, availability of social support, proper coping mechanisms, symptom severity, and frequency of depressive episodes. Symptoms of depressive disorders may include:

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Spending increasing amounts of time sleeping
  • Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities
  • Increasing challenges in meeting demands of work, home, social, and scholastic life
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide attempts

Physical Symptoms:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Aches and pains
  • Increased body movements
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Digestive problems

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Slowed thinking and speaking
  • Increased preoccupation with depressive feelings
  • Decreased ability to make decisions
  • Trouble recalling details

Psychosocial Symptoms:

  • Worthlessness
  • Helplessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor self-image
  • Feeling critical of oneself
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling “empty” inside
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Preoccupation with death, dying, suicide

Effects

Effects of depression

Depressive disorders are very treatable illnesses that, like other illnesses, require changes in lifestyle and therapeutic interventions. Without proper treatment, depressive disorders can worsen over time, causing immense problems in an individual’s life. The long-term effects of depressive disorders include:

  • Social isolation
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety, panic disorder, or social phobia
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Co-Occurring Disorders

Depression & co-occurring disorders

There are a number of other mental disorders that may occur alongside depressive disorders. Treatment of depression can improve the outcomes of co-occurring disorders. These may include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug addiction
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • PTSD

It's been a long time since I've felt so strong and hopeful. Highland Ridge has shown me how to deal with my depression in a way that no one else could.

– Maggie K.