Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment

Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-04-22
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment
Unit 2 Workbook: Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment
Unit 3 Transcript: Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment
Unit 4 Recording: Depression: Myths, Signs, Prevention and Treatment

People assume that depression looks the same for everybody, but this isn’t really the case. This session is dedicated to better understand depression – see its prevalence, debunk myths about it, recognize its signs, distinguish depression from other emotions or conditions, and overcome it.

This webinar’s instructors are Dr. Stephen Odom, Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of First Responder Wellness by Simple Recovery and the founder and CEO of Shift Wellness; and Amy Morgan, Founder and Director of Academy Hour. They are both committed to overall wellness for the public safety and first responder population. Dr. Odom has more than 30 years of expertise in this arena utilizing an empathetic and therapeutic approach. Meanwhile, Amy has developed programs and conducted numerous trainings focused on first responder mental health.

Specifics of the course included:

  • The many myths linked to depression and setting things straight that:
    • It cannot be waited out and must be addressed through anti-depressants and therapy.
    • The restricted way of seeing the world is not brought about by anti-depressants but depression itself.
    • Depression isn’t determined by genetics, gender, or personality.
    • Merely talking about it doesn’t make it worse, and that a critical and traumatic event doesn’t cause it.
    • Depression doesn’t look the same for everyone.
  • The difference between situational and biological depression based on what causes it and how therapy looks like for each.
  • The neurology and chemistry of depression and differentiating the normal brain functions and the processes that happen once in depression.
  • Understanding the conditions like mood disorders, PTSD, and grief that may be misconstrued as depression.
  • The difference of anxiety from depression, recognizing its symptoms, and how both can also co-exist as agitated depression.
  • A rundown of the different signs of depression, and the difference of specific symptoms between men and women.
  • The cognitive triad that serves as red flags of the presence of depression in an individual.
  • The nature of the job of first responders that make them particularly susceptible to depression.
  • Expectations from first responders that emphasize the value of maintaining wellness, providing them with the resources, and encouraging them to get help and support if needed.
  • Emotional intelligence capabilities, access to and presence of support systems, and other traits that serve as barriers and protective factors from depression.
  • A glimpse on the prevalence of childhood depression, how isolation due to COVID may contribute to this, and how depressive episodes manifest in children and youth.
  • The health care professionals who can best provide guidance, and different types of medications and therapy available.
  • Supplemental activities and mindset that can help alleviate depression alongside anti-depressants and therapy.

The webinar participants raised their questions on:

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – one of the therapies available.
  • First responders’ resource options should they need help.
  • Raising more resilient children.
  • Getting a culturally competent medical provider to diagnose depression.
  • Tests that may indicate depression.
  • Depression rates for children of first responders.
  • Defining cultural competence of the resources first responders reach out to.


Other Webinars with this Speaker:


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The easy to follow and scientific explanation of depression. The presenters did an excellent job breaking down a very complicated topic into something that was easy to follow and understand.” — Alyssa
  • “Everything was valuable, but I think the thing that helped the most was an understanding that first responders see the world differently. This is difficult for “normal” people to understand and it helped validate us, somewhat. Not that it should be used as an excuse, but it can be very lonely in your head sometimes, especially in social situations, because you don’t want to be the “Debbie Downer” about your work. I think some of this is normal, but it is definitely helpful to know you are not alone. Thank you!” — Amanda
  • “I loved learning about the differences between anxiety and depression. I also enjoyed the breakdown in the difference between men and women when it comes to depression. It was a very enjoyable Webinar. Thank you.” — Amanda
  • “Anything by Dr. Odum is amazing.” — Deena
  • “This needed to be a 2-hour webinar. It was so helpful that the speakers addressed First Responder issues as they are so unique. I found the session that defined the differences between male and female responses to be very helpful. That section addressed so much more than just gender differences, and was very helpful, giving helpful insights.” — Hazel
  • “The new technology is astounding! I LOVE the way things were worded such as excessive worrying, deal with it and moved on, self-efficacy, etc. It makes me excited about the way people CAN recover and/or deal with this and be a part of the world, especially in this age of social media! Thank you for a great and inspiring presentation!” — Jillian
  • “I think all of the information was very helpful. Learning more about the signs, addressing the myths that cause barriers, and hearing about ways to prevent and treat depression will assist me in my own situational depression and in my efforts to help others.” — Michelle
  • “Excellent!!!!!!! This was one of the absolute best!!!” — Reba


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