November 25, 2009


McFarlands Present Public Health Lecture On Depression

“Depression—The Inner Fight with Self” was the focus of a public health lecture at Northeast Alabama Community College on November 14 as part of a series of free lectures on health issues for people in the College’s service area. The lecture was presented by Dr. Arlene McFarland, a psychologist, and Dr. Thomas McFarland, a medical physician. Approximately 100 people attended the presentation given in the college’s Health Education Center.

The McFarlands were introduced by Dr. David Campbell, NACC President, who said, “We welcome you and thank you for being here today. This is a new area and topic for our health lecture series. As research has shown, depression is an illness that can lead to other health problems while frequently being debilitating in itself.” He explained that the Health Care Lecture Series was begun in conjunction with the opening of the new Health Education Center with a focus on preventive health care through education. Dr. Campbell expressed appreciation to Susan Barron, Director of Event Planning at NACC, for putting the program together.

The McFarlands thanked those in attendance and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to speak on the issues of depression and coping skills for this very common problem that affects us and our families and friends. With the holidays approaching, problems with depression are on the increase. The McFarlands gave information on personal theories of depression, physical complaints of depression, seasonal affective disorder, exercise to help depression, and effects of depression on any status of person. The theories of depression include biologic, anger turned inward, results of a negative environment, perception problems, and learned behaviors. Therapy works for depression. Medicine is only a band aid if one does not get to the root of the problem. Support groups help those depressed to get better. Solutions for depression that work are exercise, connections (face to face, not technological), having a purpose, spiritual acceptance, and medicine. Medications usually help within two months and patients begin to feel better. Depression is sometimes brought on by an illness that needs to be treated. “But there is hope, hope that one can get better. Seek help; it will make a difference. You don’t have to be miserable,” said Dr. Thomas McFarland.

After the presentation, the McFarlands answered questions from the audience.

For more information about the NACC Public Health Care Lecture Series, contact Ms. Susan Barron, Director of Events Planning at NACC, at or telephone ext. 248.

Pictured at the NACC public health lecture are Dr. David Campbell, NACC President; Susan Barron, Director of Events Planning at NACC; Dr. Arlene McFarland; Dr. Thomas McFarland; and Dr. Ben Knox, Counselor and Psychology Instructor at NACC.