Roughly 40 million adults in the U.S. struggle with depression or anxiety. Not to mention the family, friends, and coworkers that are also impacted. National Depression Screening Day’s held annually on October 11. It’s important for many reasons. First, it can help people make an informed diagnosis. It also drags depression out of the darkness. And perhaps most important, it can bring help to those that need it.
National Depression Screening Day - History
Screening guidelines updated
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendations on screening. Now all adults should be screened for depression as part of primary care.
First National Depression Screening Day
Communities, schools, military bases, and workplaces were encouraged to institute depressions screening.
Mental Health Week was launched
America's first Mental Health Week focused on the symptoms and impacts of depression and anxiety. Eventually Mental Health week became Mental Health Month.
Major legislation on mental health was passed
The National Mental Health Act became law — creating the National Institute of Mental Health.
How to Observe National Depression Screening Day
1. Learn something new
For those suffering symptoms, use National Depression Screening Day as a chance to learn how to manage them. For those who do not suffer from depression, learn how to help someone else.
2. Reach out to someone
Most people probably know someone suffering from depression. Reach out to them and let them know you support their battle.
3. Contribute to the fight
Whether or not you suffer from depression, use this day to fight back. Learn about volunteer opportunities. Or just write a Facebook post about the battle against depression — and let others know you understand and care.
5 Signs It's Depression, Not Just Sadness
1. You feel empty
Sadness can certainly be a sign, but once you start experiencing an empty feeling you might be able to tell that it's depression.
2. You're way more irritable than usual
Feelings of restlessness or excessive irritability can be signs of depression.
3. You're getting really thin
If you experience significant weight loss without trying, or without a diet, you could be depressed.
4. You're thinking about death
If you find yourself focusing on death or suicide, with or without a specific plan, seek help. You may very likely be depressed.
5. You're having trouble concentrating
Depression can make it harder for you to focus on tasks at hand and can also make it more difficult for you to make decisions.
Why National Depression Screening Day is Important
A. Am I depressed?
Health care professionals meet with people who are suffering symptoms to help them understand their feelings and diagnose their condition.
B. It spreads resources
Teaching everyone about the signs, symptoms and effects of depressions helps us understand. It also puts helpful resources in the hands of more people. Even those who aren't suffering from depression can be impacted by it.
C. It fights a stigma
Depression and anxiety disorders are still largely viewed as something to hide. On this day, communities come together to learn about depression together. All of this helps fight the negative stigmas around depression.