With National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) coming up on October 11, we thought this would be an ideal time to talk about depression, raise awareness, and encourage people to get depression screening. National Depression Screening Day first began as an outreach effort to give people young and old across the nation access to important mental health education as well as connect them with the support services they need.
NDSD offers resources to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations every year. If you are feeling overwhelmed and depressed, unable to do the things you once enjoyed, you may want to consider assessing your emotional health. Whether you are concerned about yourself or someone you love, you can take a completely anonymous self-assessment here.
What is Depression?
The term “depression” gets thrown around a lot these days, something people say when they are sad or down in the dumps. It’s important to note that depression is an actual clinical diagnosis and is not the same as being sad or grieving a loss of a loved one, job or relationship. Feelings of sadness and grief are a normal part of the human response to such situations.
While grief and depression can involve many of the same feelings of intense sadness and withdrawal from once-enjoyed activities, they are different in many ways. Depression, a major depressive disorder, is a common yet serious illness that negatively impacts how you feel, the way you think and the way you act, says the American Psychiatric Association.
Depression can cause feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can also result in many emotional and physical problems that can decrease your ability to function at work and home.
The symptoms of depression can range from mild to moderate to severe, including:
- Feeling of sadness or being in a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Changes in appetite – either weight loss or gain
- Difficulty sleeping or over-sleeping
- Lack of energy or higher levels of fatigue
- Increase in hand wringing or pacing, or slowed movements and speech
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty in thinking, concentration or in making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
In order to be diagnosed as depression, symptoms must last at least two weeks. It’s also important to rule out medical causes for the sudden change in mood, which could have roots in thyroid problems, brain tumors or vitamin deficiencies.
Depression affects one in 15 adults, and one in six people will experience depression at some point in their life. Depression can set in at any time, but usually first appears during the late teens to mid-20s, with women more likely than men to experience it.
Why Screen for Depression?
Just like you would get screened for diabetes, heart disease or skin cancer if you had a concern, so too should you get screened for depression. According to Mental Health America, here are some great reasons why you should:
- Clinical depression is a serious medical illness and can lead to suicide.
- Sometimes those with depression believe that the symptoms of depression are a “normal part of life.” They are not.
- Clinical depression affects men and women of all ages, races and socio-economic groups.
- One in four women and one in 10 men will be depressed at some point during their lives.
- Two thirds of those suffering from depression fail to seek treatment.
- Depression can co-occur, complicating other medical conditions.
- More than 80% of all cases of clinical depression can be treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.
- Screenings are often the first step in getting help.
Contact Comprehensive MedPsych Systems
With nationally recognized counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and neuropsychologists on staff, many of whom specialize in diagnosing and treating depression, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems can help. Contact us at one of our many locations to get the screening and help you need to start living your best life. Comprehensive MedPsych Systems offers cutting-edge Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment with remarkable cure/remission and effectiveness rates for severe depression.