If you’ve ever experienced clinical depression, then you know what it is to be so weighed down by sadness and hopelessness that you feel paralyzed, lethargic, and unmotivated, often to the point of feeling unable to get out of bed in the morning. People with depression may also report feeling devoid of emotion, empty inside, and unable to muster the strength to care for oneself, let alone anyone else. Maybe you’ve been to therapy and sought counseling; maybe you’ve been experiencing depression alone.
But you are not alone: According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), major depressive episodes affect 6.7% of U.S. adults each year. Women are 70% more likely than men to be diagnosed, and the average age when full-on depression sets in is 32 years of age.
In light of National Depression Screening Day today, mental health organizations and community groups across the country are offering free screenings and resources to the public. Screening for Mental Health, Inc., offers a free anonymous depression screening online, as well as links to nationwide events.
People who choose to participate in the screening address a series of 13 questions, such as:
- Been feeling low in energy, slowed down?
- Been feeling hopeless about the future?
- Had feelings of worthlessness?
- Had difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
After completing the screening, participants are directed to the results, which state whether their answers are in line with those of someone who has depression. Visitors are then greeted with a video by Dr. Carol Sanchez, who shares information about the symptoms and causes of depression, as well as the importance of seeking help. The results page features links to more resources and screenings, such as the National Suicide Prevention Center.
Though a screening may help you to assess whether you do, in fact, have clinical depression, nothing can replace quality, professional help on the road through depression recovery. You can locate mental health services in your area with GoodTherapy.org’s Find-a-Therapist search.
- Screening for Mental Health, Inc. “National Depression Screening Day, October 10, 2013.” mentalhealthscreening.org/events/national-depression-screening-day.aspx
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “Depression.” Retrieved from nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
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