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  • HMC Staff Writer

Behavioral Health: Treating the Whole Person

Helping individuals manage their mental health and overall well-being

Behavioral health refers to the connection between behaviors, emotions, and the well-being of a person. It involves a wide range of disorders and conditions related to mental health and substance abuse. The Tennessee River Behavioral Health Center, as part of the Hardin Medical Center, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Depression, panic attacks, anxiety, bipolar disorder

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Substance abuse: alcoholism, addiction

  • Personality disorders, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and phobias

  • Eating disorders

  • Suicidal ideation


Behavioral health professionals include psychologists and psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and social workers, and sessions focus on understanding how behaviors, thoughts, and emotions impact overall health and quality of life. Treatments may include therapy, medication, and support services to manage mental health.


Depression is a broad term that encompasses various mood disorders characterized by persistent and often debilitating feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in everyday activities. Although everyone experiences ‘depression’ at one time or another, the statistics about clinical depression are varied because many people suffer from more than one mental health disorder at a time. Nearly 1 in 4 American adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder each year. Most people who commit suicide have a depressive disorder or a substance abuse issue.


Clinical depression is often caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, but other factors can play a role. Depression tends to run in families or is triggered by life events or certain illnesses. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a specific type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less natural light. SAD is more common in regions with long, dark winters and is often considered when there are no apparent triggers. Symptoms are like those in major depressive disorders and can include:

  • Depressed mood

  • Lack of energy, specifically lethargy or persistent fatigue

  • Irregular sleep patterns, either oversleeping or having insomnia

  • Appetite and weight changes

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

  • Lack of interest or pleasure in doing activities once enjoyed

  • Social withdrawal

  • Feelings or statements of hopelessness or worthlessness; in severe cases, this can lead to thoughts of death or suicide.


Often, the depressed person cannot identify these symptoms in themselves, so it’s crucial for close family and friends to notice these symptoms in loved ones. Depression and SAD are serious mental health conditions that require professional evaluation and treatment. Treatment for behavioral health disorders usually consists of a combination of antidepressants and cognitive behavioral/interpersonal therapy.

If you or someone you know is experiencing five or more of the symptoms above for at least two weeks, seek help from a mental health professional. Help is available. To schedule an appointment at the Tennessee River Behavioral Health Center, located at 80 Enoch Boulevard in Savannah, Tennessee, please call 731-926-9616.

The National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in either English or Spanish by calling 988. The Crisis Text Line provides free 24/7 support by text message. Text HOME to 741741 to have to a live, trained crisis counselor respond. 

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