Depression is common, screening is not

It is normal to experience short periods of sadness, but when this feeling doesn’t go away or starts having a lasting impact on your life, you should consider speaking to a doctor or behavioral health specialist about a depression screening.

We spoke with Rebecca Ann Duffy, LPC, clinical director at evolvedMD, our HonorHealth primary care behavioral health services partner, to learn more.

"Screenings are vital to a complete assessment of well-being and mental health needs. They help you recognize what your personal baseline is and if that baseline has shifted. Additionally, the screening helps a therapist understand your mood changes and potential causes, therefore generating appropriate treatment goals.”

What is depression?

Depression is when emotions of negativity and sadness interfere with your daily life, impacting how you think, behave and feel. It’s more than just feeling down in the dumps or having a difficult day. Depression can make it hard to function at home or work and cause you to lose interest in activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. In the U.S., around one in 20 adults experience depression each year. If you think you might have depression, you should request a depression screening.

Depression is common, screening is not - HonorHealth behavioral health services

Getting professional help

Most individuals don’t mention the feelings they’re experiencing to their doctor, but you should as it is a very real condition. For those who have depression, it’s sometimes mistaken for a normal part of everyday life. It’s important to discuss with your doctor to differentiate what you’re feeling.


Signs of depression

Feeling sad or not like yourself happens; however, when you have two or more of these symptoms lasting for more than two weeks, it could be a sign of depression. Symptoms can include:

  • Pessimistic feelings
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Fatigue or low energy levels
  • Poor eating habits
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unintentional weight fluctuations

Where to get a depression screening?

In-office screenings are normally used to diagnose depression. At each HonorHealth primary care location, you have access to behavioral health therapists who partner with you and your primary care provider to develop personalized treatment plans for depression. Having our primary care doctors and behavioral health specialists under one roof gives us the unique ability to provide a seamless care experience when it comes to mental health diagnoses and makes it easier for you to receive the care you need, quickly.

If your results suggest you have depression, you will have a follow-up screening scheduled. After further analysis, we will work together with you on a treatment plan that suits your personal needs. You will continue to have screenings at each visit to help us keep a pulse on how you are feeling, and if see any adjustments need to be made to your care plan.

What happens during the screening?

During a depression screening, your doctor will ask you a variety of questions surrounding topics like your mood, feelings, sleeping patterns and more. You may also be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your behaviors. Additionally, a blood test may be performed to discover if you have any underlying medical issues that could cause depression.

The goal of an initial depression screening is to point out symptoms of depression, then further evaluation can be requested if needed.

If you think you are suffering from depression, mention it to your doctor. It is a common disease from which you can recover. Call your doctor to schedule a depression screening appointment.

Get connected to care

Speak with your primary care physician to see if behavioral health is right for you. Need a primary care doctor? Find one now.

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