Screening for depression can help diagnose the severity of the condition. It indicates the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and can offer a referral for further evaluation if required. We talk about how it works and why one may need it below.
Unless you have a pre-existing long-term physiologic illness, no preparation is usually needed for a depression screening. The risk is also low to non-existent, except for minor bruising on the site of blood extraction. The general process is as follows:
It's important to seek immediate treatment if you've been diagnosed with depression. The sooner you get therapy, the higher your chances of recovery will be. Although depression treatment can take a long time, most people who receive it eventually feel better.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with depression, you will be prescribed a treatment plan based on the type of depression and how severe it is:
If you have five or more of these common depression symptoms for more than two weeks, or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with work, school, or routine, you should see a doctor for a depression screening:
Important: If you are or someone you know is having thoughts about doing self-harm or suicide, immediately call for help. Do not wait for a depression screening appointment. In the US, you have the following resources:
Another important thing to keep in mind is that depression screening is not exclusive for those who are showing depressive symptoms. Like breast exams and blood sugar tests, it can also be a preventive measure to avoid a simple worry from worsening.
Psychiatric and counseling services, as well as other mental health resources like depression screening, are available at Luminous Vitality Behavioral Health. Dr. Ronald Lee, our resident depression psychiatrist, will assess your illness, manage your prescription, and create a treatment plan. We conduct in-person and telehealth psychiatry. Reach out to Luminous Vitality to book an online appointment.