Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm: Depression on the Rise for 12- to 35-Year-Olds

Marla AhlgrimmIf you’ve noticed people are more down and out than unusual lately, you’re not imagining it. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield, depression has increased a staggering 63 and 47 percent for adolescents and young adults respectively.

Q: What are the signs of depression?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Depression looks different on different people but is typified by a persistent feeling of being sad, hopeless, or “empty.” Many people will display no outward signs, however irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in social interactions are common.

Q: Have other age groups also shown signs of increasing depression?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, in fact, all groups studied had a significant increase in clinical diagnoses. Adults aged 35 to 49 saw an increase of 26 percent with those aged 50 to 64 experiencing slightly lower numbers of new cases reported.

Q: Why is it so important to diagnose and treat depression?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While depression is considered a mental health condition, it can have significant effects on a person’s physical health. Depression can trigger appetite changes and cause psychosomatic headaches, digestive problems, and aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment. More alarming, however, is that depression can reduce a person’s life expectancy by nearly 10 years.

Q: What causes depression?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There is no singular cause of depression. It is suspected that younger people are succumbing to added pressures to perform academically, online bullying, and feelings of inadequacy brought on by the airbrushed beauty portrayed in the media. Adults often cite divorce and financial problems as triggers. Seniors are the most at-risk group of loneliness, which is a major risk factor for depression. For all ages, losing a loved one such as parent, sibling, spouse, or close friend, may lead to depression.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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