Among the many other great causes brought to light this month, October is National Depression Education and Awareness Month and National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. This month gives us the opportunity to pay a little more attention to ourselves and to those around us. Specifically, taking time to identify symptoms of depression or other depressive mood disorders.

Depression can present in many ways and often looks different in childhood and adolescence than in adulthood. Common symptoms of depression include changes in eating or sleeping habits, low mood, emptiness, fatigue, body aches, loss in interest in activities, sadness, hopelessness, irritability, thoughts of self-harm, actions of self-harm, thoughts of suicide and low motivation or energy. It is incredibly important to be aware of these experiences and emotions as they are happening and even more important to better understand their cause and how best to uniquely address each of them.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly two thirds of those suffering depression are untreated and risking further decline in their quality of life. Often, mental health disorders, especially depression, are under treated for a variety of reasons. For example, mental health illnesses can be more difficult to detect than some physical medical conditions and, therefore, are often dismissed. Also, some of the symptoms of depression – such as consistent anger or an irritable mood within adolescents – are falsely categorized as “just a part of life” or something to “just get over.”

October 6th is Mental Health Screening Day, which reminds all of us to take advantage of the ways we can detect depression symptoms and put mental health first. Identifying the severity and impact of this medical condition is crucial to obtaining the overall health you deserve.

At MiraCare we devote many resources to identifying and treating clinical depression and other depressive disorders. This is accomplished through psychological assessment, psychotherapy, telepsychotherapy and medication management.

If you or those around you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or are curious about other low moods you might experience, talk to your primary care physician or pediatrician or take a moment to set up a visit with a provider at MiraCare. You can also learn more here or begin your screening process. You and your loved ones deserve to at least know – get screened today!

Written by:
Breanne Gremillion, PsyD of MiraCare Group
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Training Coordinator