Archived Story

Local doctor to talk about depression

Published 11:48am Thursday, February 20, 2014

Her goal is to educate women about depression.

Ealena Callender, obstetrican and gynecologist for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea will speak at the annual Women’s Health Care Symposium.

Callender hopes her talk will raise awareness about women and depression.

“Women are getting treated for depression about two times as much as men,” Callender said. She said the higher numbers can be attributed to women being more likely to seek treatment than men.

Ealena Callender, obstetrician and gynecologist for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, will speak at the Women’s Health Care Symposium. --Tiffany Krupke/Albert Lea Tribune
Ealena Callender, obstetrician and gynecologist for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, will speak at the Women’s Health Care Symposium. –Tiffany Krupke/Albert Lea Tribune

Hormones are also to blame for the discrepancies, she said. Women can feel unhappy due to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycles. Often women experience changes in mood before their cycle, commonly known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS.

Lack of light can also contribute to feeling down, Callender said. Seasonal Affective Disorder is common in colder climates during the winter.

“When we aren’t getting enough sun, we often feel more sad than usual,” Callender said. “Even when we get sun, it is further away so we don’t get the same effects.” Light therapy can help replace the missing light often associated with mood changes.

Callender said people often feel ashamed about seeking treatment for depression.

“People aren’t embarrassed about having diabetes or having a thyroid problem,” she said. “Depression is an illness, too.”

Callender said depression can be treated with therapy, being around loved ones, regular exercise and medication.

Medication and therapy are most effective when used together, she said.

It is important for friends and family to be aware of the signs so they can encourage the person suffering from depression to seek help.

Callender said some of the signs of depression include sleeping too much or to little, lack of interest in everyday activities, changes in appetite and thoughts of suicide.

Callender wanted to speak at the symposium because she wants people to know how to help depression sufferers. Last year her colleague, obstetrican Jodi Schulz, presented. Callender has been at Mayo Clinic Health System for about a year.

The Women’s Health Care Symposium will be at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club in Albert Lea. The symposium is free with a complimentary breakfast.

Speakers from Mayo Clinic Health System will talk about heart disease, women and depresssion and the Mediterranean diet. Other speakers will be cardiologist Sandra Birchem and registered dietitians Amy Pleimling and Emily Schmidt.

The symposium is sponsored in part by the Naeve Health Care Foundation and is free with a complimentary breakfast. Last year, about 275 people attended the event, according to Kathy Leidal, public affairs specialist for the hospital.

Attendees are asked to register by calling 379-2046.