Task force: screen all patients for depression

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 20:32:09-05

A new recommendation from the US Preventative Services Task Force says all primary care doctors should screen each patient 18 years and older for depression, especially pregnant or new parents.

Depression affects about one in ten US adults, but often is not discussed. This new suggestion means primary care physicians, including family doctors and gynecologists ask a handful of questions as part of their routine procedure.

"There's just two questions you can ask. One, in the past two weeks have you been feeling down or depressed? Two, in the past two weeks have you lost interest or pleasure in doing things?" said Dr. Benjamin Ha, family physician with Kaiser Permanente.

"It's a community effort, these kinds of guidelines will only help to start that conversation, fuel that conversation and get that education out there," said Jessica Burzlaff, a new mother and a therapist. 

If women are diagnosed with post-partum depression or are struggling with new parenthood, Kern County has a number of resources, like: