Event to coincide with National Depression Screening Day in October
MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Clinical depression is a common medical illness that afflicts more than 19 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Early detection can help sufferers dramatically improve their quality of life.
As part of National Depression Screening Day in October, Loyola University Health System will offer free depression screenings from 1-4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7. The screenings will take place in Room 4131 of the Loyola Outpatient Center, on the campus of Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood.
"People can walk in if they think they may be suffering from depression," said Dr. Angelos Halaris, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "This is an additional screening to say, 'No, thereâs no problem' or 'there may be a problem that warrants further investigation.'"
Depression can be treated with medication and counseling. Untreated, depression can lead to social isolation, severe health problems and even suicide. Symptoms of depression include:
* Persistent sadness, anxiety or empty mood * Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism * Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness * Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities * Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue * Difficulty concentrating or making decisions * Restlessness or irritability * Inability to sleep or oversleeping * Changes in appetite or weight * Unexplained aches and pains * Thoughts of death or suicide
Screenings are confidential, take about 30 minutes to complete and involve filling out a brief questionnaire. The screenings will be performed by qualified mental health professionals who will screen for depression and some related conditions â dysthymia (a chronic condition in which a personâs moods are regularly low), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder and generalized anxiety. Afterwards, participants will be able to discuss their results and learn where to go for counseling and treatment.
"The screenings will be informational, not diagnostic," Halaris said. "If necessary, we will refer those who we think need more comprehensive evaluation and treatment."
There is no need to make an appointment. For more information, call Maralee Powderly at (888) 216-5073. Parking is available. Valet and self-parking are $4.
National Depression Screening Day is held during Mental Illness Awareness Week each October. It is designed to call attention to the illness of depression on a national level, educate the public about its symptoms and effective treatments, offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for depression and connect those in need of treatment to the mental health care system.