This organization provides notices to the public that when an individual has any concerns about client care and safety in the organization, that this organization has not addressed, he or she is encouraged to contact the organization's management.
You may also contact JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations) at 1-800-994-6610
or by email at email@example.com
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from depression. Although effective treatment is available for depression, most people never seek treatment for their symptoms. Left undiagnosed and untreated, depression can last for years and can cause a significant amount of suffering. This is exactly why it's so important to diagnose and treat depression. In an attempt to do this, Douglas Jacobs, a clinical psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, started National Depression Screening Day in 1991.
National Depression Screening Day is held each October during Mental Awareness Week. It's designed to call attention to the illness of depression, and to educate the public about its symptoms and the treatments available. Go through the checklist below to see if you have any symptoms of depression. And remember, while a screening may be the first step toward recovery, it is not a professional diagnosis. Screenings can identify the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed (MHA, 2006).
Depression Screening Checklist:
Symptoms of clinical depression
A persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
The keyword here is persistent. We all have down days, but when the days turn into weeks despite efforts to turn things around and when this down mood is combined with other symptoms then there is cause for concern.
Sleeping too little or sleeping too much
When you wake up tired despite getting enough sleep, in hours, or when you have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or early morning awakenings, then it might be depression.
Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
weight that either increases or decreases by 10% or more or appetite changes (either an increase or a decrease) could be a sign of depressed mood.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
withdrawing from people and social events, neglecting a garden or hobby, just feeling “blah” or “don’t care” can be danger signs.
Restlessness or irritability
whether it starts looking like PMS or just being “crabby”, if it isn’t typical for you to feel this way for a prolonged period, it is time to check it out with a trusted friend or professional.
Persistent physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment [such as headaches, chronic pain, or constipation and
other digestive disorders]
pain in the neck, shoulders, back, or legs that just isn’t going away is often related to stress or depression.
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
have you been sitting at your desk and realize that time has past and you haven’t completed a task that might have ordinarily taken very little time? Have you been procrastinating more lately? Perhaps you have forgotten important dates or appointments. Depression could be affecting your performance.
Fatigue or loss of energy
feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep, running out of energy even when the task is not physically or mentally challenging.
Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
This can be the most difficult symptom to identify. Often, we tend to find explanations for these feelings that seem reasonable to us but not to others. If other people in your life are encouraging you to get help, listen to them. You don’t have to continue to feel these feelings. There is always hope!
Thoughts of death or suicide
Even if you know that you would not actually kill yourself, it is important to talk with someone about the thoughts. If the thoughts are getting strong enough that you are thinking about a plan, it is most likely clinical depression. It is treatable and can be overcome. You don’t have to continue to feel these strong feelings. There is always hope!
Not sure what to do? :
Most individuals experience depression in different ways and forms. If you are experiencing 5 or more of these symptoms for longer than a two week period or any symptom in itself causing severe interference with your daily routine you may want to follow up with a call to the Mental Health provider of your choice or contact your family doctor.