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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 4, 2010

CONTACT

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or marla.augustine@nebraska.gov

October 7 is National Depression Screening Day

Lincoln—Are you sad all the time, lost interest in activities and pursuits you formerly liked, withdrawn from friends and family, and losing weight?  These things may indicate depression.

“Depression isn’t just a short time of feeling sad,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.   “Real depression can last months or years if untreated.”

Major depression is a common and treatable mental disorder that over six percent of the adult population reported having in the last 12 months.

These are the symptoms of depression:

  • Depressed mood most of the day; feeling sad or empty, tearful
  • Significant loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain; decrease or increase in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Agitation; or slowing down of thoughts and reduction of physical movements
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Poor concentration or having difficulty making decisions
  • Thinking about death or suicide

If you exhibit some of these symptoms, consult your physician or a trained mental health professional for a screening test.  Depression can be addressed by medication, psychotherapy or peer support.

“Depression is real, but hope is real also,” said Carol Coussens de Reyes, administrator of the Office of Consumer Affairs in the Behavioral Health Division at DHHS.  “Receiving a diagnosis was the beginning of a journey for me of finding emotional health.  Reach out today by calling people who care about you for support or exploring a support group on Nebraska’s Network of Care website.”

You can find support groups and other wellness tools for getting through depression by visiting the Network of Care website at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/behavioral_health/Pages/networkofcare_index.aspx.  For a useful screening quiz and tools to help, see http://www.depression-screening.org/depression_screen.cfm.

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