National Depression Screening Day: Who should get screened for depression? What are the treatment options available?

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Courtesy of DHR Health

By: Dr. Jose E. Igoa, DHR Health Behavioral Hospital

Although everyone experiences sadness from time to time, depression is much more than occasional sadness.  Depression is a mood disorder that can affect the way a person feels, thinks, and acts.  Depression can be experienced at any age and can occur with or without a major life change.

Symptoms of depression can last for weeks, months, or even years.  Some common symptoms are feeling down or hopeless, feeling tired or feeling as if you have no energy, feeling less motivated, feeling less interested in the things you normally enjoy, having difficulty concentrating, experiencing changes in sleep or eating habits, and feeling unexpectedly irritable or angry.  Sometimes people may just not feel like themselves for a prolonged period of time.  Regular depression screenings are beneficial and can help identify any potential symptoms.  It is important to note that screenings can only acknowledge the presence or lack of symptoms.

A depression screening cannot provide a diagnosis of depression, but it can be the first step towards receiving treatment. If a depression screening indicates that you may have depression or if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to speak with your health care provider to discuss options.  Depression can be treated and there are many treatment options available. Counseling, medications, or a combination of both have been shown to be effective treatments for depression, but only your healthcare provider can help you choose the best options that is best for you.

If you or someone you know would like more information on mental health or would like to speak to one of our experts about a free screening, please call DHR Health Behavioral Hospital at (956) 362- HELP (4357).