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This is national Screening for Depression week.  If you are wondering if you are depressed, this week is a great week to take the first step to get help.  Take a look at the frequently asked questions below to learn more about depression.  Then, if you think you might be depressed, take the depression screener (PHQ-9) and see how you score.

Fact Sheet About Screening for Depression

Definition

Depression is a serious medical condition that is disabling and can be characterized by three categories of symptoms, including mood, physical and cognitive changes that prevent a person from functioning normally.

1. Mood Symptoms – feeling sad, anxious or “empty,” irritable, restlessness

2. Physical Symptoms – changes in sleep, appetite and energy levels, as well as persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

3. Cognitive/Thought Symptoms – difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions, as well feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and/or helplessness

Screening for Depression: The Facts

More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression, regardless of age, race, or gender.

Less than half of those suffering from depression seek treatment.

More than 80% of all people with depression can be successfully treated through combination of meds and psychotherapy.

Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men.

Married people have a lower rate of depression than those living alone. However, unhappily married people have the highest rates of depression; happily married men have the lowest rates.

Approximately 10%-15% of all new mothers get postpartum depression, which most frequently occurs within the first year after the birth of a child.

Depression is NOT a normal part of aging — symptoms get overlooked and untreated especially when it coincides with other medical illnesses or life events that commonly occur as people age.

Older patients with symptoms of depression have roughly 50% higher healthcare costs than non-depressed seniors

SCREENING FOR DEPRESSION 

It’s important that you sit down and evaluate your well-being when you feel that life is not as rewarding as it ought to be. So take a moment to answer these questions.*

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?

1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

2. Feeling down, depressed or hopeless.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

3. Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

4. Feeling tired or having little energy.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

5. Poor appetite or overeating.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

6. Feeling bad about yourself — or feeling that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

7. Trouble concentrating on things such as reading the newspaper or watching television.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

8. Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed your slowness — or the opposite, being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

9. Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or thoughts of hurting yourself in some way.
Not at all
Several days
More than half the days
Nearly every day

If you checked off any problems, how difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?
Not difficult at all
Somewhat difficult
Very difficult
Extremely difficult

Screening for depression is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified mental health provider or physician can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

Screening for depression: How to score your answers.

Each “Not at all” answer has value of zero. Each “Several days” answer has a value of one. Each “More than half the days” answer has a value of two. Each “Nearly every day” answer has a value of three. Total all your answer scores to determine your screening result.

Read this if your screening result is between 0 and 9.

Your screen results indicate that you have few or no symptoms of depression.

Read this if your screening result is between 10 and 14

Your screening for depression results are consistent with minimal symptoms of depression. If these symptoms are distressing to you or are distracting you at work, or home, you may benefit from seeing your physician or a qualified mental health professional for a complete evaluation, as soon as practical.

Read this if your screening  for depression result is between 15 and 27.

Your screen results are consistent with many of the symptoms of depression. You are advised to see a qualified mental health professional immediately for a complete assessment. A mental health professional or your physician can advise you about whether you can benefit from treatment and describe different treatment alternatives.

Read this if you answered “Several days”“More than half the days”, or “Nearly every day” to question #9.

Your screening for depression results indicate that you may be at risk for harming yourself or someone else. Please call a mental health provider for an appointment, call 911 or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room if you are unsafe. After hours, you may also call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). 

There is some evidence that suggests the quicker a disorder is recognized and treated, the better the chances for a positive outcome.  Hence, regular screening for depression should be a routine part of an annual physical examination.  Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.

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