Depression is a mood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, making it a leading cause of disability. Despite this prevalence, many misconceptions surround depression’s symptoms, causes, and management techniques. In observance of National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 6, learn more about how to recognize depression warning signs and when to ask for help.
What Is a Depression Screening?
Like checkups for other chronic illnesses such as heart disease, depression screenings should be a routine part of health care. Since so many people try to ignore or dismiss their depression symptoms, a screening can be the first step in receiving an accurate diagnosis and realizing you need help.
Unfortunately, only a fraction of those suffering from severe depression seek treatment from a mental health professional. Untreated mental health disorders can worsen over time, complicating other medical conditions and potentially leading to suicidal thoughts and behavior.
When performing a depression screening, a doctor will ask you questions about your mood to determine whether your symptoms are interfering with your daily life and ability to fulfill your responsibilities. Health professionals will want to rule out any conditions that could mimic or co-occur with depression, such as a substance use disorder.
The DSM-5-TR describes the following symptoms of major depressive disorder. Clinically depressed people must experience five or more of these during the same two-week period.
- Consistently low mood
- A loss of interest or enthusiasm in hobbies and activities
- Weight and appetite fluctuations
- Slowed thoughts and movements
- Daily fatigue and low energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, and making decisions
- Frequent thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempts
The results of a depression screening can help you start the journey toward getting diagnosed and having a meaningful conversation about improving your mental health.
What Is a Dual Diagnosis?
When depression and substance use disorders overlap, health professionals call it a dual diagnosis. The two conditions evolve alongside each other, becoming so intertwined that it’s nearly impossible to tell which came first. When you live with depression and an alcohol use disorder concurrently, it’s crucial to understand how these two illnesses fuel each other, harming your overall health in the process.
Successfully recovering from co-occurring depression and addiction requires treating both conditions simultaneously along a complete continuum of care. During inpatient treatment at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers, you will live in a comfortable environment while you participate in therapy, withdrawal management techniques, 12-step meetings, and education about the disease of addiction.
When you enroll in LMRC, you’ll have an initial meeting with licensed health professionals including a registered nurse, an addiction professional, and a mental health specialist. These experts will complete a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment that helps them create a tailored treatment plan for you to follow throughout your stay with us. We offer the structure and accountability that are essential for you to take ownership over your life and future well-being. To learn more about what we provide, reach out to us today to start a transformative conversation.