Updates to Depression Recommendations


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that all adults get screened for depression. That would update the recommendations set in place in 2009 in two ways. First, all adults over age 18 would be screened for depression. Second, the recommendations would include screening women who are pregnant or who have just given birth.

This would be a positive change.

Depression is a big problem. It is part of being human.

All of us experience degrees of depression throughout our lives. When depression interferes with our ability to function, something must be done.

Although medication might work, non-pharmacologic therapy can be just as helpful with many people. I have found that having a meaningful social connection can go a long way in preventing or treating mild-to-moderate depression. Knowing that someone cares or loves you has enormous power.

However, depression should be taken seriously. In particular, postpartum depression should be taken seriously as it can lead to a depth of darkness in which suicide–and, as we all know, even hurting one’s own children–seems to be the only solution.

For the sake of all members of society — the born and the not-yet-born, included–postpartum depression must not be ignored. It’s good to see the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force taking action to prevent tragedy.

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