Yesterday, we noted the availability of free and confidential screenings for depression and similar mental health ailments on National Depression Screening Day. Although that day has passed, it does not mean that people who believe that they may be suffering from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder should not seek a diagnosis and treatment.
According to Screening for Mental Health, the non-profit that created National Depression Screening Day, one in four women and one in 10 men will experience some form of depression at least once during their lifetimes. However, two-thirds of the people who suffer from depression do not seek treatment for the disease, despite the fact that more than 80 percent of all cases of clinical depression can be successfully managed with therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
Although the symptoms of depression vary from person to person, there are several that may indicate the presence of the disease. If you experience multiple symptoms for more than two weeks, or if the symptoms are severe to the point that they interfere with your daily life, you are encouraged to contact a mental health professional for an evaluation.
- Constant feelings of sadness, anxiety, or listlessness
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest or satisfaction in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Restlessness or irritability
- Thoughts of suicide or death
In addition, the presence of these symptoms and a diagnosis of depression may cause you to qualify for Social Security Disability. To receive benefits, you must have a documented history of at least two years of depression and provide evidence that you suffer from several of the symptoms listed above. An experienced SSD attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.
Source: Mental Health America, "National Depression Screening Day"