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Lincoln –Whether for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or depression, health screenings provide a quick and easy way to spot the first signs of serious illness. October 14 draws attention to the necessity of screening for depression.
Depression is a common mental health condition. For some people, depression is mild and short-lived; for others, it is more severe and longer-term. Some people are affected only once; others more than once. At worst, depression can lead to suicide. While it's normal to have bad days at times, or feel stressed out because of difficult life events, depression is different from being in a bad mood and people can't just snap out of it.
“Like screenings for other illnesses, depression screenings should be a routine part of healthcare," said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “Sometimes people with depression mistakenly believe that the symptoms of depression are a normal part of life, but clinical depression can be a serious medical illness, and individuals may experience suicide ideation. Clinical depression affects men and women of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups. And according to Mental Health America, only about a third (35.3%) of those suffering from severe depression seek treatment from a mental health professional. Hope and help are available for those who need treatment. Take part in your well-being and participate in a screening."
What you should know about depression:
Who should get screened for depression? Key indicators include:
In addition to talking to your doctor, you can also take an online quiz for many common mental health conditions at https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/. However, screenings are not a professional diagnosis. Screenings point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed. You should see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional if you experience five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily routine.
What you can do to help someone who may be struggling:
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis?