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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/20/02
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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National Depression Screening Day, October 10

Cincinnati--Free, anonymous, depression screenings will be available 11 a.m.-7 p.m. October 10 in honor of National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) at the UC Physicians at University Pointe, 7700 University Ct., West Chester, Ohio. Depression symptoms include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, loss of pleasure in usual activities, changes in sleep and appetite, vague aches and pains, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression is an extremely common condition, affecting 17-20 million Americans each year.

Manic-depression symptoms include depression symptoms accompanied by mood swings. The high or manic state may be pleasurable or tense and irritable. Lapses in judgment are common, as is decreased need for sleep, rapid speech, abuse of drugs or alcohol and sometimes hallucinations. Unlike depression, which occurs more often in women, manic-depression occurs nearly equally in men and women.

Some 70 percent of people with depression also have anxiety symptoms. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry over everyday things and can be very hard to spot because it is not as dramatic an illness as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition which is often experienced in the aftermath of a trauma. Generalized anxiety is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as nausea and sweating. The intensity and constancy of the anxiety interferes with daily functioning. PTSD often involves recurrent dreams of the traumatic event, outbursts of anger, inability to sleep, attempts to avoid anything that reminds the person of the trauma and a general numbness or detachment. Symptoms of PTSD can appear at any age and often don't appear until several months after the incident. Both PTSD and generalized anxiety are often accompanied by depression.

Anyone attending the event will have the opportunity to complete a written screening test and talk one-on-one with a mental health professional. Free educational materials and referrals will also be available. National Depression Screening Day is a program of the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health (SMH).For more information call Diana Foltz, (513) 558-1133 or the national NDSD, (781) 239-0071.

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