Thursday, October 6, is National Depression Screening Day
Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting more than 21 million American adults each year. Today is National Depression Screening Day, dedicated to helping the 8.4% of adults who experience a major depressive episode each year.
Depression can occur throughout the life span and can touch individuals of all genders and of all races. Yet only about one–third of people experiencing depression will seek mental health help.
It is just as important to screen for depression as it is to screen for other physical health concerns. Though a depression screening is not a professional evaluation, it can help people spot early signs and help them seek treatment sooner. Online screenings for depression are offered by Mental Health America and MindWise Innovations.
Signs of depression may include:
- Loss of pleasure and interest in activities
- Persistent sad, irritable, or anxious mood
- Feeling hopeless, guilty, or worthless
- Difficulty concentrating, inability to remember things or make decisions
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know has been experiencing symptoms of depression for two weeks or longer, or if those symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily routines, professional evaluation may be necessary. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline can help you find treatment.