The US Preventive Services Task Force suggested that all adults should be examined for depression by doctors.
Statistics show that 1 in 10 adult Americans experience depression at some point or another in their lives. Women are more prone to developing the condition instead of men, studies show, whereas about 7 percent of the US population is affected by major depression.
The depressive disorder is an illness involving the body, thoughts and mood of an individual. It is, roughly put, represented by persistent feelings of sadness and worthlessness and a lack of desire to engage in former pleasurable and enticing activities and/or hobbies.
The arousal of hope, interest or desire in former activities is diminished by the depressive disorder. It is a complex body and mind illness, but can be treated through therapy.
People who experience depression cannot simply ‘pull themselves together’, as the symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years, but an appropriate treatment can be effective in ameliorating and wiping out the illness.
Depressive disorders can be categorized according to intensity and specific environmental-related or essential symptoms. For instance, there is the less prevalent manic-depressive disorder, also major depression and dysthymia.
The age of persons affected by depression can range from 15 and older, and can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and endeavors.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended that all adults should be screened for depression via the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), composed of nine relevant questions, with the goal to meticulously emphasize any indicators of depression.
A sample question from the questionnaire could be:
“Over the last 2 weeks, have you been feeling tired or having little energy?”
The USPSTF previously reported (2009) that adults should be screened in doctors’ clinics
“when staff-assisted depression care supports are in place, and selective screening based on professional judgment and patient preferences when such support is not available.”
But the most recent USPSTF disposition says that now adults, aged 18 and older, should be examined using the questionnaire.
The organization stated that this tool (i.e. the PHQ) was now widely available and accepted as part of mental health care. Selective screening is no longer considered relevant of clinical practice.
Moreover, the USPSTF has now redirected its field of vision towards pregnant and postpartum women, whereas they weren’t subjected to tests in 2009.
Research shows that there is a certain type of depressive disorder called postpartum depression, which is diagnosed if the mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after giving birth.
As a conclusion, the expert panel reported that individuals diagnosed with depressive disorders as a result of screening and who would be treated with antidepressants and psychotherapy would benefit from a relevant improvement in symptoms, and the outcomes would eventually be successful.
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