Did you know that approximately 40 million adults in the U.S. struggle with depression and anxiety? Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that affects men and women of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups. If you or a loved one are struggling, you are not alone.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. We understand the necessity of regularly monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol as well as routine wellness visits, but managing stress is equally important. Over time it may contribute to serious health problems, including depression.

Mental illness affects us directly or indirectly through family, friends and coworkers. Unfortunately the stigma of mental illness stops many from getting the help they need. However, there are many online screenings for depression which are fast, easy to use and confidential. Although these are not a professional diagnosis, they can be the first step in getting help.

Rebecca Philips, MA, LMFT, Division Vice President of Clinical Operations at Kindred Behavioral Health, says, “Mental health screening should be done on a routine basis just like screenings for diabetes or blood pressure. No one should suffer when we have so many successful treatment options.” An online screening test Philips recommends is on the Mental Health America website at https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/.

Signs of depression:

  • Have you lost interest in activities you normally enjoy?
  • Are you restless and/or more irritable?
  • Have you noticed changes in sleep or appetite?
  • Are you having trouble concentrating?
  • Are you thinking about death or suicide?

If symptoms last longer than two weeks, or are severe enough to interfere with daily life, please see a healthcare provider who can help you better understand your symptoms and diagnose your condition.

Depression is real, but it is treatable and recovery is possible.

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