Experts Raise Awareness About Depression on National Depression Screening DayLast Edited:
On Thursday, October 11th, many health professionals around the nation are taking part in raising awareness for those battling with depression and the importance of depression screenings with National Depression Screening Day.
According to officials with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 16 million adults in the United States suffer from depression.
“There’s this misconception that depression is just kind of feelings of sadness, but it’s actually a lot more than that," said Katie Tracy, program supervisor at Oaks Integrated Care.
Experts say battling depression can affect every aspect of someone's life.
“It affects people cognitively," said Tracy. "So, people start to have trouble with planning, and time management, and making decisions, and thinking about the future.”
It also affects people physically. Tracy says there can be a change in coordination or being able to do things quickly.
“Their whole world view is really changed when they’re experiencing depression," said Tracy. "And so they’re sort of viewing things through this negative lens."
According to experts, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States and it doesn’t discriminate. Depression can affect anyone at any age, and at any time.
Health professionals are urging those who may think they’re battling depression, not just on National Depression Screening Day, but any day, to seek help. It starts with a screening, which is a series of questions to determine if someone is suffering from depression symptoms.
“I think the screening is the gateway for them so it can start a conversation about how normal this really is and how common it really is for a lot of people," said Tracy.
But, Tracy explains, it doesn’t just have to be a mental health professional that patients can express their concerns to.
“I also am a strong believer in all different types of providers," said Tracy. "[It can be] health-care providers, primary care doctors, OBGYNs [or] anyone in the medical field, as well as the behavior health field, screening for depression at every encounter."
“Certainly reaching out for help is empowering and can lead to a much better outcome than if that person is to not actually come in for treatment and talk to a mental health professional," said Michael D'Amico, director, Oaks Integrated Care.
According to officials with Screening for Mental Health, Inc., 80 percent of those who receive treatment for depression show improvement in their symptoms within weeks.
There are multiple types of treatments that can be found all over South Jersey. It’s just a matter of someone battling with this disorder to take the first step of speaking out.
For more information, visit oaksintcare.org.
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