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Friday, August 25, 2017

Are You Depressed? Google Wants to Know

Are you depressed? It is a question which, depending on the answer, can have serious implications. And it could be a jumping off point for seeking help. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many of our readers familiar with mental illness, conditions such as addiction and depression are severely under-treated. We have written about the realities of mental health treatment on numerous occasions over the years. Particularly regarding what can happen when mental illness is left untreated.

depression
Mental health disorders, particularly depression, is nothing short of a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 300 million people are affected by depression worldwide. WHO believes that the condition is the number one cause of poor health on the planet. Which makes sense, if you think about it a little. People who are depressed tend to be more lethargic, having trouble finding the motivation to even get out of bed. Depressive episodes can result in people eating poorly, inactivity and coping by way of alcohol or illicit drug use. It is not a mere coincidence that a great many people seeking treatment for addiction also meet the criteria for depression. A co-occurring disorder, clinically speaking.

In such cases, it is absolutely vital that both mental illnesses are treated at the same time. Neglecting one side of the co-occurring disorder coin can spell disaster, hindering recovery from either mental illness. Effective substance use disorder treatment centers ensure that addicts and alcoholics undergo rigorous diagnostic screening to obtain a full picture of a client. Thus, allowing for a comprehensive treatment plan that will ensure the best possible outcomes for a client's future. The question, “Are you depressed?” Is one that everyone seeking help at an addiction treatment center should answer honestly, doing so can make all the difference for achieving long-term sobriety.

 

Depression Screening Online


You might be familiar with a growing trend among tech-giants, such as Facebook, dedicating significant resources to helping users struggling with mental illness. The “social network” has even developed an algorithm for spotting users who may be at risk of self-harm. In such cases, the at-risk user will be directed toward resources that could help prevent a catastrophe. Thousands of depressives have suicidal ideations or attempt to take their own life every year. Identifying signs early and providing resources that can help could make all the difference and save lives in the process.

Of the 1 in 5 Americans affected by depression, about 50 percent never receive any form of treatment. Google has joined the cause to change those figures for the better. The search engine giant has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to ask anyone searching for terms related to depression: “Are you depressed?”


On Google’s blog, The Keyword, Mary Giliberti J.D., Chief Executive Officer at NAMI, writes:

“You may have noticed that in Google search results, when you search for depression or clinical depression in the U.S., you see a Knowledge Panel for the condition which provides general information about it, the symptoms, and possible treatment options. Today PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire which can help identify levels of depressive symptoms is also available directly from the search result. By tapping “Check if you’re clinically depressed,” you can take this private self-assessment to help determine your level of depression and the need for an in-person evaluation. The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor.” 

Filling out the PHQ-9 could be starting point for the millions of Americans living with untreated mental illness. The results of which could lead you to a path for treatment. Reaching out for help is never easy, but it will save your life.

 

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, and believe that depression may be a contributing factor, please contact Hope by The Sea. Our highly-trained staff is equipped to help you break the cycle of addiction, begin the process of recovery and address co-occurring mental health disorders like depression. We work closely with psychiatrists and psychologists who can begin the process of treating your depression. In turn, giving one the ability at achieving long-term recovery.

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