NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Primary care doctors should screen all adults for depression, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which advises the federal government on health.
Dr. Karina Davidson is a member of the task force and also a psychologist at Columbia University Medical Center. She discussed it with Fox 5.
Take a look at the statistics. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says nearly 7-percent of American adults, which is about 16 million people, had at least one major depressive episode last year. CDC records show that more than 41,000 Americans commit suicide each year. About 90 percent of suicides. are related to mental illness.
For the first time, the task force is also reporting that screening for depression benefits older adults, pregnant women, and new mothers.
Heidi Koss says she suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her first child 20 years ago. She says she couldn't find a doctor to take her symptoms seriously. Koss later attempted suicide twice. Because of her experience with postpartum depression, Koss was inspired to get a degree in counseling and is now helping other women suffering through the same pain. Her website is heidikoss.com. She strongly supports the new recommendation that doctors screen all of their patients for depression.