A Day To Battle Depression

More than 17 million Americans suffer from depression, but fewer than half of them get help. On Thursday, Oct. 8, a nationwide effort will be made to change that, reports CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay.

More than 3,000 sites across the country will offer free, anonymous screenings for depression and manic depression. National Depression Screening Day happens annually, but Thursday, for the first time, many primary care physicians will be involved and will screen their regular patients.

As part of the screening, patients are given a series of statements that they may either agree or disagree with. The National Depression Screening office gave CBS News a few examples:

  • I feel sad most of the time.
  • I sleep too little or too much.
  • I notice I am losing weight and/or my appetite.
  • I can't make decisions.
  • I feel hopeless and/or worthless.
  • I get tired for no reason.

If you agreed with the following statements and have felt
this way every day for several weeks, you may be suffering from clinical depression and should consult a health care professional.

To find the location for a free screening near you, call the National Depression Screening Day Hotline at 1-888-805-1000.

The screenings are meant to help people who may not realize they are suffering from depression or understand that it can be treated.

Primary care physicians have been asked to participate not only for the sake of the patients who come in that day, but to encourage them to tune into these problems more aggressively than they have in the past.

Reported by Dr. Emily Senay