CINCINNATI—The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that in a given year, 9.5 percent of the U.S. population—about 21 million adults—suffer from a depressive illness.
But, according to the NIMH, many people with depression never seek treatment, even though the disease is often very treatable.
“We know more now than we ever have about treating depression,” says UC psychiatrist Erik Nelson, MD. “We have so many therapies for this disease. No one should be suffering without treatment.”
Nelson says depression screenings should be given regularly and hopes that an upcoming screening day will encourage people to seek help.
UC will host walk-in depression screenings on National Depression Screening Day, Thursday, Oct. 5. A table will be set up in the lobby of the Medical Arts Building at 222 Piedmont Ave. All screenings will be completed in a private room.
“Depression, when not treated, is a debilitating disease,” says Nelson. “It’s important for everyone to know the signs and symptoms, not only for their own health, but also so they can recognize depression in a friend or loved one.”
Some symptoms include:
· Persistent sad or anxious mood
· Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness
· Loss of appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
· Thoughts of death or suicide
· Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
· Changes in sleep patterns
To learn more about UC’s screening day or to find out about ongoing clinical trials related to depression, call (513) 558-3249.
National Depression Screening Day is held each October and is designed to “call attention to the illness of depression on a national level, educate the public about its symptoms and effective treatments, offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for depression, and connect those in need of treatment to the mental health care system.”
For more information about National Depression Screening Day, visit www.mentalhealthscreening.org.
UC Health Line contains timely health information and is distributed every Tuesday by the UC Academic Health Center public relations and communications office.