Depression is a common mood disorder that can affect everyone. Based on research, about 1 in 20 Americans (over 11 million people) get depressed every year. However, it’s even more common in people with spinal cord injury – about one in five people. Estimated rates of depression among people with SCI range from 11% to 37%.

Depression and Spinal Cord Injury

What is Depression

It’s a common yet serious mental disorder that affects your feelings, thoughts, physical health and behaviours. Thus, the disorder can cause some or all of the following physical and psychological symptoms:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Feeling down or hopeless
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diminished energy or activity
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or self-blame
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Causes of Depression

Everyone has a unique experience. It’s hard to know for sure what causes depression, but there are many possible reasons, including

  • Childhood experiences.
  • Life events.
  • Other mental health problems.
  • Physical health problems.
  • Genetic inheritance.
  • Medication, recreational drugs and alcohol.
  • Sleep, diet and exercise.

Depression and Spinal Cord Injury

Depression is treatable

The mental disorder negatively affects every aspect of an individual. Additionally, the thoughts of death even increase the risk of suicide. Fortunately, it’s treatable. Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy have been shown to reduce the symptoms and help people return to normal functioning. Furthermore, regular exercise or physical activity can improve mood, especially with counselling or medications.

The NDIS and mental health

The NDIS may fund non-clinical mental health supports related to your ongoing psychosocial disability and functional ability. Nevertheless, there is a lot of confusion around the NDIS funds. If you are confused, our NDIS Support Coordination team will always be pleased to help you.

Finally, you can visit the MSKTC to access the complete factsheet if you want to learn more about the topic. Moreover, there is a depression self-test on the factsheet that helps us determine if we have symptoms of depression.

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