The Army marks National Depression Awareness Month in October, with the
theme “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 is not a sign of weakness. It may prevent a good Soldier
from becoming a casualty.
The National Institute of Mental Health has reported that major depressive disorder affects some 14.8 million people in the United States. 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 bodyaches 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. 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.
Often, the first step to recovery is a depression screening.
Anonymous depression screenings are available through the Department
of Defense (www.militarymentalhealth.org or 877-877-3647), Department of
Veterans Affairs (www.mentalhealth.va.gov/depression.asp) and civilian
organizations (such as mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/military/).
The screening sites also provide information
about how to get treatment. For more information, visit www.
behavioralhealth.army.mil, www.resilience.army.mil, www.army.mil/csf or