With an estimated 9 percent of Rhode Islanders suffering from depression, Butler Hospital encourages people who may think they have depression to take a free, confidential online depression screening on its website in recognition of National Depression Screen Day on Thursday, October 6, 2011. The screening can help determine if you or a loved one may have depression or a related mood disorder.
In 2007, 7.5 percent of adults aged 18 or older (16.5 million people) had at least one episode of major depression in the past year. Depression has been associated with increased risks of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. A new study published by the American Psychiatric Association suggests that people with depression may be at a higher risk for having a stroke than people who are not depressed. Depression frequently occurs with other disorders such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, disruptive behaviors, substance abuse, as well as with illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Symptoms of depression may include:
• Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
• Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
• Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
• Appetite and/or weight loss as well as overeating and/or weight gain
• Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
While medications have proven to be effective in overcoming depression, a combination of antidepressants and therapy is most effective. In an effort to discover other methods to improve mood, Butler Hospital is conducting a new $1.7 million four-year research study to determine whether adding supplemental care—that is, yoga classes or classes about living a healthy lifestyle—is helpful for people who take an antidepressant medication for depression but are still experiencing some symptoms of depression. People can go to butler.org/healthybodyhealthymind to learn more about the study or they can call 401-455-6487 for more information.
Butler Hospital is the only private, nonprofit psychiatric and substance abuse hospital serving adults, adolescents and children in Rhode Island and southeastern New England. Founded in 1844, it was the first hospital in Rhode Island and has earned a reputation as the leading provider of innovative psychiatric treatments in the region. The flagship hospital for the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Butler is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in conducting cutting-edge research.