For the majority of 2020, the world has been in a tail spin of dread and uncertainty.
In an atmosphere like that, it is no surprise that depression has grown.
The Washington Post reported in late May that one-third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression. According to the story, a poll of 1 million households between May 7-12, 2020, revealed that for every 100 American adults, 34 are showing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or both. More than 42,000 of the 1 million households responded.
Depression, as Mayo Clinic defines it, is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Research suggests that a combination of factors – genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological – can play a role; the latter two could certainly contribute to a COVID-19-related diagnosis.
The pandemic shut things down, leaving people without their hobbies or livelihoods. It also prompted feelings about the unknown and what was going to happen in the future. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism are just one of the signs of a major depressive episode, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says.
Other signs include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of guilty, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Restlessness or irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed
If any of these feelings persist, it is important to see a mental health care provider to get treatment.
Trinity Health provides outpatient and inpatient behavioral health services for children, adults, and seniors. Outpatient services include diagnostic evaluations, such as a screening for depression.
“There is no better screening tool than sitting there, asking questions, and being understanding,” said Denise Roerick, LICSW, a licensed social worker and therapist with Trinity Health’s Behavioral Health department. Following a depression diagnosis, a treatment plan is formulated. A treatment plan can include medication, therapy, or both, which Roerick said is “ideal.”
According to data from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 65 percent of people with major depressive episodes receive combined care by a healthcare professional and medication treatment.
To make an appointment with a behavioral health specialist at Trinity Health, call 701-857-5998.