CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With May being Mental Health Awareness Month and Mother’s Day approaching, many moms are waiting more than a year to get help, if they ever do.

Since 1949 Mental Health America (MHA) uses the month of May to help build the understanding of mental illness, work to increase access to treatment, and ensure those who are struggling to know that they are not alone. The theme for this year’s awareness month is “Back to Basics” and aims to call attention to providing foundational knowledge about mental health and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.

According to Myriad genetics, 2 out of 3 women with depression or anxiety say they’ve reached their “breaking point” yet more than half wait a year before seeking treatment.

“Six in 10 of the women surveyed with depression or anxiety diagnosis say they have been ignored or dismissed by family, friends, and/or partners about their mental health concerns,” a nationwide survey conducted by Myriad genetics.

  • 72% of women say they “just need to take a break”
  • 31% believe “I need to try harder”
  • 13% said they thought “I should see a doctor” when feeling overwhelmed
Myriad genetics

“Women often feel pressure to ‘hold it all together’ and not admit when they are struggling,” says Dr. Betty Jo “BJ” Fancher, a family medicine and psychiatric physician assistant with a doctorate of medical science and a masters in psychopharmacology. “Yet, if you are sobbing on the floor of your shower, throwing things in anger or repeatedly screaming into a pillow, these are signals that you have crossed a line and should see a healthcare provider about your mental health.”

Those that seek treatment and are diagnosed with depression or anxiety may be prescribed medication. Genetic testing can be done to provide information about how genes may affect medication outcomes. Patients may metabolize or respond differently to taking certain medications commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health conditions.

The GeneSight test analyzes genetic variations of DNA for 64 medications. For more information on obtaining the test, speak to your doctor.