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NIH Record

Depression Screening for NIH Employees

Have you been experiencing "the blues" for more than a couple weeks, even months or years? Have you lost interest in ordinary activities? Has your ability to feel pleasure diminished? Or, do you swing from a low mood to a high one, where you become more sociable and talkative than usual, or perhaps irritable? If so, you may be suffering from major depression, dysthymia (low-grade chronic depression), or bipolar disorder — depressive illnesses that can be effectively treated with certain medications and/or types of psychotherapy, according to NIMH research.

Quality of Worklife graphic

To find out if symptoms you experience may be due to a depressive disorder, attend the free, anonymous, walk-in, depression screening for NIH employees on National Depression Screening Day, Thursday, Oct. 7, sponsored by NIMH and the quality of work life committee, with the support of the NIH Employee Assistance Program. Employees will have the opportunity to view a short video, complete a brief questionnaire, discuss their results privately with a mental health professional, and gather free brochures on depression and information about treatment resources. Screening will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at three NIH locations, two of them on the Bethesda campus and one in Rockville, on Executive Blvd. The campus sites are at Occupational Medical Services, Bldg. 10, Rm. 6C306; and the Employee Assistance Program, Bldg. 31, B2, Rm. B57. The Rockville site is at Executive Plaza North, Rm. 103.

Employees who are not within walking distance of the sites on campus but prefer that location are encouraged to use the NIH shuttle or another form of public transportation because of limited parking. Paid parking, however, in addition to shuttle access, is available at Executive Plaza North. For the shuttle schedule, go to

If you are suffering from a mood disorder, you are not alone. More than 19 million American adults each year suffer from depressive illnesses, but only one-third seek help. Without treatment, mood disorders can worsen, become disabling, and, in some cases, lead to suicide. But most people who do get help feel good again. Effective treatments include the use of antidepressant and/or mood-stabilizing medications, short-term psychotherapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, or a combination of both.

For more information about depressive disorders, their symptoms and treatments, visit the NIMH Web site at People unable to attend the screening may contact the following organizations for referrals to local treatment specialists: the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (, 800/826-3632); the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (, 800/950-6264); and the National Mental Health Association (, 800/969-6642).

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