Depression is a mental health disorder that is diagnosable and treatable in every population. Untreated, the disorder can make it difficult to function in every area of life, but with the range of evidence-based treatment options available to patients suffering from depression symptoms, there is no reason to continue living without help.
According to Mental Health America, depression is a pervasive problem among Americans. They say that:
- About 20 percent of Americans will struggle with depression symptoms in a given year.
- Only about 41 percent of this number will get the help they need to manage symptoms effectively.
- An estimated 10 percent of Americans are living with a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder that is characterized by depressive episodes.
- About 18 percent of Americans are living with an anxiety disorder that may also be characterized by depression.
If you are living with depression, you are not alone. Here at The Recovery Village, treatment is available.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are a number of screening tools to help clinicians identify depression in patients. Depending upon whether the patient is being seen in the emergency room, by a primary care physician, or by a psychiatrist or therapist, different screening tests may be more or less appropriate.
Some of the most common depression screening tools include:
- Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9): This is the most commonly used depression screening tool among medical professionals. There is also a version for teens and a Spanish version as well.
- “Screening for Depression” Booklet: This is an educational tool used to help providers understand every aspect of recognizing and treating depression in a patient on Medicare. It even offers assistance with billing and payment information.
There are questionnaires developed for different patient populations (e.g., new mothers after giving birth, persons who are grieving the loss of a loved one, those living with chronic illness, etc.) that are given to patients by their primary care physician or therapist. There are also different tools that are given to patients who are dealing with general depression symptoms to determine whether or not a clinical diagnosis is warranted.
One of the most popular is the Beck Depression Inventory. This is a 21-question survey answered by the patient to determine whether or not depression is an ongoing, diagnosable issue and if so, whether or not those symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe. Patients only need to have a 5th or 6th grade reading level to fill it out effectively, and it takes just 10 minutes to complete.
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Are you living with depression?
If you are concerned that you are having issues with depression, there are a number of online tools and questionnaires that can help you determine whether or not you should seek help. Some questions may include:
- Do you feel hopeless?
- Do you have a hard time enjoying things that used to make you happy (e.g., hobbies, family time, etc.)?
- Do you feel numb or unable to feel anything?
- Do you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep? Or do you have a hard time waking up?
- Do you have a hard time maintaining positive eating habits (e.g., you eat too much or too little)?
- Do you have a hard time making decisions?
- Do you often feel tired?
- Do you struggle with feelings of guilt or a sense of failure?
- Do you attempt to make yourself feel better by using drugs or alcohol?
If depression is an issue for you, especially if depression and substance abuse are co-occurring problems in your life, treatment can help. Contact us at The Recovery Village today to get started.