Who should get screened for depression? What are the treatment options available?

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

The holidays can be full of joy, but it is also important to check in on friends and family who may be struggling with seasonal depression and feelings of loneliness. Here are some healthy ways to beat the holiday blues.

  • Take a walk outside to clear your mind
  • Make new traditions and positive memories
  • Spend time with friends to avoid loneliness
  • Make a to-do list of goals for the new year

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 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.

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. If a depression screening indicates you may have depression or if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to discuss options. 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 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).