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Olympic National Park    Washington State  USA  Pete Saloutos CorbisBy Dr. Lawana R. Lofton, PsyD        –

On October 11th ,  Mental Health providers attempt to raise awareness  regarding symptoms of  Depression.  They also offer opportunities for the community to participate in National Depression Screening Day assessments to detect, diagnosis, and refer individuals who may be in need of clinical services.

Often it is easy to overlook problematic symptoms given our busy lives and we may even minimize, or disregard moments of sadness or fatigue as unrelated to Depression.  It could be nothing at all, or it could be symptoms worthy of further investigation so because of this, it is best to know the facts as a starting point.

Take a screening at   www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org

Hedged Path  Spain  PBNJ  CorbisAccording to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic Statistical Manual used to diagnosis Mental Health symptoms, Major Depression is marked by at least five or more symptoms present  most of the day, every day, for a 2 week period along with either  1)  a depressed mood, or  2) a loss of interest or pleasure.  Functioning represents a change from previous functioning.  Having at least five or more of the other symptoms are as listed:

Recurring thoughts of death, or termed suicidal ideations, suicide attempt(s).

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day.

Impaired concentration, indecisiveness.

Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day.

Restlessness, or fatigue, feeling slowed down, low energy almost every day.

Significant weight loss or gain which is a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.

Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day  termed anhedonia.  This symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others.

Symptoms cause significant impairment to social, occupational, spousal or intimate relationships, or other important areas of functioning.

Note:  If Depressive Symptoms are due to the loss of a loved one, it may be Grief and Bereavement and Psychological Therapy can be beneficial.

Note:   If Depressive Symptoms are due to a Medical Illness it may be  a condition other than Major Depression as there are other diagnostic categories to address these symptoms.  The same exclusions exist for Endocrine Disorders, Medications antihypertensives, or Alcohol; street drugs (e.g.,  Cocaine Withdrawal, PCP, Steroids, etc. ).

Note:   If Depressive Symptoms are due to childbirth, condition may be better characterized with Postpartum conditions.

Note:   There are other forms of Depression.  Read more about related Mood Disorders:  Dysthymic Disorder, Bipolar I  Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Mood Disorders  due to [ other conditions ].

Depression and How Psychotherapy and Other Treatments Can Help People Recover    American Psychological Association

 More about the event: It’s  Anonymous  & Free Online or  On-Site

Take a screening at   www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org

The event, National Depression Screening Day, individuals have an opportunity to take a free, anonymous, online Mental Health screening or locate an in-person screening site.   At conclusion of screening, resources and guidance are provided.

Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH) is dedicated to promoting the improvement of Mental Health by providing the public with education, screening, and treatment resources.

Until Next Time:    a’ Donf

Read more about Mental Health and Psychological Normalcy in book Psychological Précipice.  A must read to explore our evolving field of Clinical Psychology and how in a modern society interpersonal relationships remain an important indicator to gauge overall Mental Health wellness and maturity.