National Depression Screening Day

Updated 5 years ago

By- Dr. David PrescottDepression – Progress But Still Undertreated: Great improvements have been made over the past two decades in terms of identifying and treating clinical depression. As with most health problems, early detection and treatment of depression offers the best chance for addressing the problem successfully. Estimates are that just over 16% of Americans will experience clinical depression in their lifetime. Sadly, many of those people never receive treatment. National Depression Screening Day: Each year since 1991, National Depression Screening Day has helped people learn more about depression and provided screening and treatment referrals for any interested person. Screening is now available on-line to make it even more widely available. Types of Depression: As you consider whether or not you ought to take the screening, it may help to review the primary types of depression that have been identified by mental health experts. These descriptions are also available at the national Mental Health Screening website ( www.mentalhealthscreening.org).Clinical depression or major depression is a serious and common disorder of mood that is pervasive, intense and attacks the mind and body at the same time. Current theories indicate that clinical depression may be associated with an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that carry communications between nerve cells that control mood and other bodily systems. Other factors may also come into play, such as negative life experiences including stress or loss, medication, other medical illnesses, and certain personality traits and genetic factors. Dysthymia is a milder form of depression that lasts two years or more. It is the second most common type of depression but because people with dysthymia may only have two or three symptoms, may be overlooked and go undiagnosed and untreated. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that follows seasonal rhythms, with symptoms occurring in the winter months and diminishing in spring and summer. Current research indicates that the absence of sunlight triggers a biochemical reaction that may cause symptoms such as loss of energy, decreased activity, sadness, excessive eating and sleeping. Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is a type of mental illness that involves a disorder of affect or mood. The person’s mood usually swings between overly “high” or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between.Need more Information?Acadia Hospital: www.acadiahospital.orgNational Depression Screening Day: www.mentalhealthscreening.org).Depression Screening Questions – National Depression Screening DaySample Questions: Over the past two weeks, how often have you: Been feeling low in energy, slowed down?a. For none or little of the time. b. For some of the timec. For most of the timed. For all of the timeHad difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? e. For none or little of the timef. For some of the timeg. For most of the timeh. For all of the timeIf you would like to complete a screening for depression and possible treatment recommendations, follow the link to National Depression Screening Day at:www.acadiahospital.orgAvailable on October 8, 2009


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