Mental Health is Your Health
According to a new study, depression in Americans aged 12 years and older has reached epidemic levels with nearly 10% of the population being affected by the mood disorder.  Unfortunately, the stigma of mental health issues still persists and makes many people reluctant to seek help for something “in their head.” Yet, depression is the leading mental health condition in the country and can have very real physical consequences.
The signs of depression can take many forms and differ depending on age, gender and other factors.
They are also not the same for everyone but can impact daily life in many ways. Some people feel persistent sadness, lose their appetite, or have trouble concentrating or sleeping. Others may no longer enjoy their usual activities, have a lack of energy or experience irritability, indecisiveness, and hopelessness. Ongoing depression is also a risk factor for self-harm and may be linked to the rise in suicide in the United States.
Research suggests that genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors play a role in depression. Major negative life changes, trauma, or stress are also risk factors for depression. In light of the epidemic rise in depression, Providence Medical Associates physicians screen our patients for depression on a regular basis so that we can provide support or start treatment as early as possible. Patients who are experiencing any signs of depression should not wait for their next check-up. It is never too early to alert your physician that depression is impacting your quality of life and possibly of those around you.
If you need immediate assistance, call 988. You can also click here for more information or to chat with someone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.