More than three million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with depression each year, but doctors say millions more could be living with untreated depression.
Dr. Daryl Tanski, a psychiatrist with Lee Health, says on the outside a patient can appear to have a loss of interest, change in appetite, or deep sadness. But on the inside, doctors say patients may be struggling with a brain disorder. “Depression is unfortunately more common and prevalent than we would like it to be. It may affect about 16 percent of the population, so one in 6 adults is likely to suffer from depression.”
Depression can cause significant problems to a patient’s daily life. “Aside from its own effect on a person’s mental health, it has significant effect on other aspects of their health and most importantly their quality of life,” said Dr. Tanski.
Depression can be caused by biological, psychological, and social stress. There are treatments available, but first patients must be diagnosed. “Depression requires an evaluation or assessment for a full diagnosis, but if patients don’t have access to that or may not have concerns that would take them in that direction, an alternative approach is screening,” said Dr. Tanski.
Lee Health offers free depression screenings to patients concerned they could be living with depression. “There are screening instruments that have been researched and validated to assess for depression through a series of questions people respond to. Those questions are tabulated and then reviewed by a clinician. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as adding up the numbers and then making a diagnosis but it starts a discussion,” said Dr. Tanski.
That discussion may lead to further evaluation, offering the patient help to get them back to their normal life.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.