Today is National Depression Screening Day— Empower Yourself.

Today is National Depression Screening Day, when the health care community links arms to shine a spotlight on one of the biggest health issues facing our society: Depression. At Annum, this day really resonates with us because depression is one of the many issues that can go hand-in-hand with drinking too much or too often.

The good news is there are effective treatments for depression, just like there are effective treatments for heavy drinking. Taking initiative to better understand your risk of depression is a powerful, proactive first step you can take for your own health.

What is Depression?

Depression is a common and serious medical condition that impacts the way you feel, think and act, causing feelings of sadness and often a loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities (read more about the signs and symptoms from the American Psychiatric Association). It’s effects can be long-lasting. In fact, the World Health Organization says that depression is the number one reason that working-age adults become disabled.

How does depression relate to drinking?

Heavy drinking increases the risk for a wide range of health care conditions, including many cancers, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's Disease — and depression. In small quantities, alcohol can feel energizing, but as you increase your intake, alcohol becomes a depressant and it interferes with sleep. That’s why heavy drinking can make underlying depression worse.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

Better understanding your risks for depression is what this day is all about. You can start by taking an anonymous survey from the Society for Mental Health Screening. It’s simple, free, and can provide a great basis for a follow up conversation with your trusted health care provider.

Thanks for joining us in observing National Depression Screening Day! I hope you can enjoy a little peace of mind know that you’ve taken action to take control of your own health.