An Overview of Mental Health in Frederick, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland, is home to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and is well known for its downtown cluster of historical churches, which fill the skyline with their many spires. In 1861, it was briefly the state capital, as legislators attempted to vote on secession during the Civil War. It is the former home of singer Patsy Cline, writer David Gallaher, and Francis Scott Key, who composed the familiar lines of The Star-Spangled Banner. But even residents of this beautifully historical town are not immune to a history of mental illness.
Mental Health Concerns Facing Frederick Residents
Mental illness is often invisible, making it much harder to identify in neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, and friends than, say, a broken leg. It’s fairly obvious when someone is constrained to crutches, but depression, anxiety, and other mental health complaints are often much more subtle. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the signs and statistics surrounding mental health in the Frederick area.
Mental Illness Statistics
If you are a Frederick resident struggling with depression, you are not alone. According to recent data, 18 percent of Frederick residents suffer with you, and that number is increasing every year. Anxiety sufferers are also prevalent. Though rates of anxiety disorders are reported as decreasing, this data may be misleading. A number of factors contribute to poor reporting of anxiety, including poor education, widespread stigmatization, and fear of being percieved as weak. Sufferers may not even realize that what they are experiencing is abnormal, believing their anxiety to be the result of everyday stress, or thinking everyone goes through the same thing. Others may know that their mental health is not good, but believe they can push through it, or fear that seeking treatment will make them seem weak.
Mental health treatment is incredibly important, even for mild cases. Over ten percent of Frederick residents report that their mental health was poor on more than half of the previous 30 days. Another 20 percent say that up to 7 days out of the last month were bad. In one year, a total of 3598 patients sought emergency mental health or psychiatric care from Frederick Memorial Hospital. That’s nearly ten people per day. Many of these cases could have been mediated or even prevented by seeking regular treatment through a therapist or other mental health organization.
Teen Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression
Though many might not think of it, teen pregnancy is a significant risk factor for mental illness. In Frederick, Maryland, 26 births out of every thousand belong to teen mothers between the ages of 15 and 19. Though Frederick’s teen pregnancy rate comes in a little lower than the state of Maryland, it’s still high when compared to the national rate of 18.8 births per thousand.
Existing mental illness also increases the risk of teen pregnancy threefold, and for teen parents with untreated mental health complaints, parenting becomes significantly harder. According to data collected by New-York-based mental health organization The Seleni Institute, teen mothers are almost twice as likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression makes everyday tasks seem insurmountable, increases risk of substance abuse and suicide, and creates barriers to proper parent-infant bonding, which can lead to the child experiencing developmental delays or disorders, poor parent-child relationships, and future mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or attachment disorders.
Mothers aren’t the only ones who can suffer from postpartum depression. Fathers are also at risk, but because of stigma associated with the disorder, few fathers are aware that it may be the cause of their suffering. A father whose partner is experiencing postpartum depression becomes even more likely to experience the same, creating a self-perpetuating problem
How Therapy Can Help
Though some more serious mental illnesses may require intense, long-term treatment, most common mental health complaints can be treated in part or in whole by regular counseling or therapy. A therapist can help come up with coping strategies, recommend additional treatments such as medication, or even just serve as a friendly ear to discuss your stresses and concerns. In many cases, therapy can help prevent mental breakdowns, or help mediate or reduce troublesome mental illness symptoms.
For more information, start your mental health journey with the therapist directory offered by E-Counseling. With access to a variety of mental health resources at your fingertips, it’s easy to find the help you need.