U.S. Army Medical Command Public Affairs
SAN ANTONIO — The Army marks National Depression Awareness Month in October, with a theme of “Depression is Treatable — Get Screened — Seek Care.”
Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that, if left untreated, may lead to other complicated medical conditions.
Seeking treatment for a medical condition, however, is not a sign of weakness. Seeking treatment may prevent a good Soldier from becoming a casualty.
The National Institute of Mental Health has reported that a depressive disorder affects some 14.8 million people in the U.S.
Signs and symptoms of depression may include sadness, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, restlessness, withdrawing from friends and family, or trouble concentrating or making decisions. Depression also may produce body aches and pains, irritability, anxiety, overeating or loss of appetite, or thoughts of suicide or death.
Unfortunately, many people believe their symptoms are a normal part of life. Hence, two-thirds of people who suffer from depression fail to seek the care needed.
The truth is, more than 80 percent of clinical depression cases can be treated effectively with medication, psychotherapy or both, so treatment should not be dismissed.
Anonymous depression screenings are available:
•At Department of Defense, www.militarymentalhealth.org/Welcome.aspx or by
•At Department of Veterans Affairs, www.mentalhealth.va.gov/depression.asp.
•At civilian organizations such as www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/military/. The screening sites also provide information about how to get treatment.
For more details about depression, visit www.behavioralhealth.army.mil/, www.resilience.army.mil, www.army.mil/csf/ and www.militaryonesource.com.