Bibb County health

Free depression health screenings offered at Piedmont Macon

MACON, Georgia(KBTV)-  In recognition of National Depression Screening Day on October 7, Piedmont Behavioral Health will offer free depression screenings during the month of October at Piedmont Behavioral Health located at 340 Hospital Drive in Macon. Screenings are available by appointments and can be made by calling Lifeline at (478) 741-1355. 

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States, more than 18% of the population, every year. National Depression Screening Day is held annually to educate, raise awareness, and screen individuals for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as offer referral for treatment. 

“No matter your age or gender, depres­sion commonly produces feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things once enjoyed. Recognizing the symptoms is often the first step in getting help, but sadly only one in five people suffering from depression receive the treatment they should,” says Dr. Cesar Figueroa, M.D., of Piedmont Macon Behavioral Health.

Women are about twice as likely as men to develop depression in their lifetimes, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Hormone changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause all increase a woman’s risk for developing depression. Women also react differently to stress and anxiety than men, tending to stew over things and blame themselves for their feelings. Genetics, balancing work and home, and acting as a caregiver are also depression risk factors for women.

Men suffering from depression, on the other hand, may feel ashamed or pressured to hide their feelings. Depression in men also can surface as anger, drinking too much, drug abuse, gambling or other risky behaviors that distract from or mask their feelings. That means depression can be hard to pinpoint and may be severe by the time it’s recognized. This could be the reason that more men than women attempt suicide.

Depression in seniors is also underdiagnosed because symptoms like memory problems, slowed movements or speech, and withdrawing from society are seen as a normal part of aging. In fact, depression is not a symptom of age, though it may be a side effect of illness or medications. In those cases, treatment of the underly­ing illness or changing a medication can quickly improve symptoms.

Piedmont Macon Behavioral Health doctors say depression is treatable and the symptoms of depression should not be ignored. For more information about Piedmont Macon Behavioral Health, call (478) 741-1355. 

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