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Don’t Suffer from Depression in Silence

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Roughly one in eight women will experience depression in their lifetime, twice the rate of men, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And while the disease harms mental health—blame symptoms like anxiety, hostility, and feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, it also hurts you physically. Depression has been linked to issues like chronic muscle aches, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and digestive issues.

The first step to getting better is receiving an accurate diagnosis—which means getting screened. And today is National Depression Screening Day, an annual nationwide event during which organizations like hospitals, community centers, and schools offer free, anonymous screenings, along with the subsequent referrals to treatment and evaluation centers. If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, locate an in-person screening site or take an online assessment by visiting HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

RELATED: Your Brain On: Depression

Think of it this way: You wouldn’t skip seeing a doctor about a broken bone. So why ignore symptoms like moodiness, anxiety, and lethargy, which can be just as debilitating as physical problems? Getting the help you need means faster, more effective treatment, so you can start feeling like yourself again.

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