October is National Depression Screening Month – What to Expect

October is National Depression Screening Month, which means that this month is the perfect time to spread awareness for screening for depressive disorders. Depression screening means being tested for specific mental health issues known as depressive disorders. Due to the stigmas associated with mental health issues like depression and misunderstanding about what to expect from the depression screening process, many people living with depressive disorders may not get the help they need. So, it’s important to spread awareness about depression screening and what to expect in order for more people to reach out and get the assistance they deserve for living with these issues.

What is a Depression Screening?

Depression screening is just like any other health screening. Health screenings are a tool to help a person identify whether or not they may be at a higher risk of certain conditions. So, depression screenings can help people identify whether or not they may be at a higher risk of developing or living with a depressive disorder. It’s important to know that depression screenings are not depression diagnoses – they are a precursor to a diagnosis and may provide individuals with the information they need to move on to the diagnostic phase. Depression screenings can help to identify symptoms of depressive disorders early so that people can get the care they need and have a better chance of successful treatment and reduce the chance of long-lasting effects of depressive disorders. So, they are a helpful tool in determining the early development of depressive disorders.

What Can You Expect From a Depression Screening?

Just like any other health screening, during a depression screening, you can expect to answer questions about symptoms you may be experiencing, genetics and family history, medications you’re taking, and other questions about your physical and mental health. You may also be asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to get more accurate information for medical professionals. If your screening determines that you may be at higher risk for depression, your medical providers may suggest that you receive further help through diagnostic testing and treatment.

Who Should Consider Depression Screening?

There are certain people who may benefit more from depression screenings than others. There are a number of different depressive disorders and people experience depressive symptoms differently from others. So, symptoms of depression may look different from person to person. However, some characterizing things that may qualify a person for receiving a depression screening can include:

  • having trouble going to sleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • struggling to stay on top of personal hygiene
  • feelings of despair, hopelessness, and sadness
  • mood swings and dealing with anger
  • suicidal thoughts, ideation, or behaviors
  • chronic fatigue
  • weight fluctuations from eating too little or too much
  • lack of interest in previous hobbies/activities
  • isolation and avoidance behaviors

Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment at Delray Center for Brain Science

Getting a screening can be the push you need to find help for depressive disorders. It can also provide you with crucial information in taking the next steps to get the assistance necessary for living a higher quality of life. Delray Brain Science offers help and services to people who think they may be living with a depressive disorder. If you feel that you would benefit from a depression screening, we are here to help.