October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. This campaign brings awareness to the need for affordable and accessible screenings for depression and other mental health disorders. All mental health disorders are treatable, but people need to have an accurate diagnosis in order to take steps towards recovery.
Depression is common, both in America and globally. About 17 million adults in the US have had at least one major depressive episode. Worldwide, depression is the leading cause of disability.
To be diagnosed with any mental health disorder, a person must visit a licensed mental health professional. A diagnosis, if any, will be made using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In the case of depression, the mental health clinician may first recommend the person see a doctor for a physical exam; symptoms like fatigue can be related to a medical issue, so that may need to be ruled out.
Once a person has a diagnosis, they can work with their clinician to create a treatment plan. While there is no cure for any mental health disorder, treatment can help lessen symptoms and greatly improve quality of life. It typically entails either medication, therapy, or some combination of the two.
The clarity of a diagnosis can also be very helpful emotionally. When a person is experiencing symptoms of depression or another mental health disorder and doesn’t know why, it can be scary and disorienting. The diagnosis assures them that they have a medical that isn’t their fault, and that can be treated. It can also connect them to a community of other people who have had similar experiences.
National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month is a reminder of how important it is to have adequate information about mental health—both on the individual and societal level.
If you are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build a great life in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.