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Depression Screening for NIH Employees

Have you been experiencing "the blues" for more than a couple weeks, even months or years? 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.

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 Wednesday, Nov. 15, sponsored by the quality of work life committee, with the support of the NIH Employee Assistance Program and NIMH. Employees will have the opportunity to view a video, complete a questionnaire, discuss results privately with a mental health professional, and gather free brochures on depression and treatment resources.

Screening will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at six NIH locations: Occupational Medical Services, Bldg. 10, Rm. 6C306; EAP, Bldg. 31, Rm. B2B57; Natcher Bldg., Rm. 1BC17; Executive Plaza North, Rm. 103; Rockledge (6705), Rm. 5038; and in Baltimore at the Bayview facility in two locations, the Scanlon Rm. on the first floor, and a conference room on the second floor. The address is 5500 Nathan Shock Drive; call 496-3164 for directions.

More than 19 million American adults each year have depressive illnesses, but only one-third seek help. Without treatment, mood disorders can worsen, become disabling, and in some cases, lead to suicide. However, most people who get help feel good again. 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. For more information about depression screening at NIH, call Michelle Russell, 496-9279.

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