Free Confidential Screening Available

Do any of the symptoms on the following checklist sound like you or someone you know?

persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood

sleeping too little or too much

reduced or increased appetite, and/or weight change

loss of interest in activities once enjoyed

medically unexplained aches or pains

restlessness or irritability

difficulty concentrating or making decisions

fatigue or loss of energy

feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless

thoughts of death or suicide

If you experience five or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks, or if the symptoms interfere with your daily routine, you may have a common, yet widely misunderstood medical illness -- clinical depression. Every year, almost 18 million Americans suffer from clinical depression, but most remain undiagnosed and untreated.

The good news is that clinical depression is one of the most treatable of all medical illnesses. In fact, over 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. As with many illnesses, if treatment is needed, the earlier it begins, the more effective it can be. And early treatment increases the likelihood of preventing serious recurrences. But, clinical depression can only be diagnosed and treated by a qualified health professional.

One of the best ways to find out if you or someone you care about, may be suffering from clinical depression is to go to a free, anonymous screening on National Depression Screening Day. Held this year on Thursday, October 10, National Depression Screening Day is a national outreach program that educates people about the signs, symptoms and treatments for clinical depression and provides referrals to health professionals. Over 250,000 people have participated in these depression screenings in the past five years

Screening participants hear an educational presentation about clinical depression, complete an anonymous written screening questionnaire, discuss the results with a mental health professional, and learn where to go for additional help if necessary.

Anyone interested in attending a screening on Thursday, October 10 can find the nearest site by calling the toll-free locator line at 1-888-976-1000. More than 2500 sites across the nation will be staffed by local health professionals ready to help.(NAPSI)

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