Depression is very common and affects about 5% of people worldwide. If you think that you or a loved one is struggling with depression, there is hope. A step towards healing is by getting a depression screening. While this might sound a bit intimidating, depression screenings are quite simple and can be completed in a primary care setting. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about depression screenings.
What is a depression screening?
A screening for depression in adults is a diagnostic procedure to diagnose depression, a chronic mental health condition. Screenings can identify the severity of your condition and the type of depression. Common types of depression include:
- Major depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Depression causes persistent symptoms of hopelessness, guilt, and sadness that last for two weeks or more. These symptoms can make it difficult to manage your responsibilities or care for yourself.
Why do I need a depression screening?
Without treatment, depression can increase your risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. By receiving a screening test for depression symptoms during your annual physical, Greenbrook Medical physicians can help you get the treatment you need before your condition worsens.
You should schedule a screening if you have symptoms of depression like:
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
- Persistent fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulties concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings
- Unintended weight loss
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
- Substance abuse
The providers can also evaluate your risk for anxiety and other mental conditions during your depression screening. Anxiety causes uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts and excessive worry, as well as physical symptoms like rapid heart rate and sweating. The condition can occur along with depression in many people.
What can I expect during a depression screening?
During your depression screening, the Greenbrook Medical providers review your personal and family medical histories. They also complete a physical exam. To rule out underlying health issues that can cause depressive symptoms, the physicians may request blood work or other diagnostic testing. After reviewing your test results, the providers will ask questions about your emotions, behaviors, and lifestyle. You may also need to fill out a questionnaire that asks for more detailed information about your mental health.
If your screening uncovers depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, the physicians can discuss your options for treatment. In some cases, they may refer you to a mental health specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Our physicians at Greenbrook Medical take a compassionate approach to screenings and can also customize a care plan to help you manage your mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. To schedule a depression screening, call the Greenbrook Medical office nearest to you today or request an appointment online.