The Costco Connection
Costco, Costco.com and Costco pharmacies offer a variety of items to help with
depression, including over-the-counter
products, bluewave lights and prescription
medication, as well as products for physical ailments accompanying depression.
depressed to have chronic headaches or
unrelenting acid re;ux?
But, as Duckworth notes, pain can be “a
somatic expression of distress,” and healthcare
providers are getting better at recognizing the
subtle signs of mood disorders. When patients
complain of chronic pain or recurrent health
problems, doctors o;en screen for depression.
“;e brain is terri;c at rationalizing the
pain,” explains Dr. Jonathan W. Stewart, pro-
fessor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia
University College of Physicians and Sur-
geons and a Costco member. “A mental health
clinician can help decipher whether there is
If pain and depression are linked, a class of
antidepressants called selective serotonin reup-
take inhibitors, or SSRIs, can be an e;ective
form of treatment. ;e drugs help increase the
production of serotonin and norepinephrine,
easing both depression and pain.
“What tends to happen is that the aches
and pain get worse when the depression gets
worse,” Stewart explains. “With treatment, as
the mood li;s, the [physical symptoms] li;
For Bower, a combination of antidepres-
sant medications and regular appointments
with her doctor help keep her depression and
pain in check. When she starts to notice
twinges in her back or an uptick in migraine
headaches, she recognizes that her depression
is about to ;are, too.
“[;e physical symptoms] are a huge red
;ag that I need to pay attention to,” she says.
“Now that I know it’s all connected, I do what
I can to treat the mental illness and know that
it has a positive impact on my physical health
as well.” C
Jodi Helmer is a health writer whose work has
appeared in Shape, Natural Health and
health for your
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57
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