Have you been wondering if you have a problem with depression? There may never have been a time when when we were surrounded with more stressful events than we are now. The stock market crisis; flood of home foreclosures; high prices for gasoline, heating, food, and other essentials; thoughts of war and terrorism; high crime rates -- all of these can lead to real fears. Many of us fear losing our jobs, our homes, the value of our retirement accounts, loved ones sent to war, and more.
It's no wonder so many of us feel angry, worried, sad, or depressed. These are all normal reactions to life's stressors, and these stressors certainly abound today. BUT, if these feelings keep us from our daily activities, interacting with our friends and family, living our lives, it's time to be screened for depression and see if we need some help.
Saturday, October 10, is National Depressing Screening Day, sponsored by Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH). At over 1,000 sites across the United States, you can anonymously take a screening test to see if you might suffer from depression or a related mental health disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder. In addition to the screening tests, each location offers educational resources on mental health disorders and opportunities to speak with a mental health professional about your concerns. It's also beneficial to go to a screening if you're concerned about someone else. You can check for a screening location near you by checking this section of the Screening for Mental Health site. If there's no screening site near you, you can also check out an online screening on this section of their site.
SMH also recognizes suicide as a growing problem. A depression screening just might save the life of someone at risk of taking their life -- your life or the life of someone you love.
In addition to depression screening information, you can also find a suicide risk questionnaire on this page of the SMH site.
If anyone you knew has taken their life or even attempted to, you know that the people close to them need help and support too. Family members and friends who are left behind after a suicide are called "survivors," and the page I linked to on the SMH site has a wealth of resources for survivors. Should you ever feel as if you're in danger of taking your life or hurting yourself, please see our page, Feeling Suicidal?
How are you feeling? If, as described above, you're missing out on daily life, your friends, and your family, please consider a depression screening. If you've been diagnosed with depression or another mental health disorder, are you doing well? National Depression Screening Day isn't limited to those who have never been diagnosed or treated. Let's all stop, take stock, and consider whether we should participate in a screening -- in person or online. Let's also think about the people close to us and whether we should encourage them to attend a screening, please.
These screenings are free and private. Let's use them well.
Helpful Depression Quizzes and Assessments:
- Depression and Suicide Quiz
- Depression at the Movies
- Depression Basics - How Much Do You Know?
- Depression Myths Quiz
- Do You Know the Basics of PTSD?
- Do You Know Your Antidepressants?
- Holiday Blues Quiz
- Is It Depression or Something Else?
- Shopping Addiction Quiz
- Would You Recognize Teen Depression?
Published On: October 07, 2009