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Local doctor spreads awareness on value of depression screenings

LEWISTOWN — Depression Screening Day is today and Dr. Shahida Fareed, Geisinger behavior medicine psychologist, is spreading awareness about why getting a depression screening is important to someone’s everyday life.

A depression screening is a questionnaire given to a patient by their family doctor that aims to find if the patient struggles with depression.

If the first questionnaire is positive, the patient takes a different questionnaire. This questionnaire will tell the doctor the patient’s symptoms and how serious their depression is.

“Depression is not a weakness, you can’t just snap out of it,” Fareed said.

One out of six Americans will reportedly experience depression in their lifetime and 14 out of 100,000 people die of suicide — 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

“Mind and body go together,” Fareed said. “If you don’t feel happy and do nothing about it, you stop doing things you used to do and feel life isn’t worth living. Suicide is more common than you think. People don’t come forward for help.”

For more information on depression screenings, talk to a local primary care doctor.

The Suicide Prevention Helpline is a free 24/7 service for anyone who needs someone to talk to about thoughts of suicide. Call 1-800-273-8255.

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