Memorial Healthcare offers free depression screenings

Effort part of National Depression Screening Day

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Gladviar Fatal lives a life of contradiction.

While Fatal considers herself fun loving, she has also been filled with self-loathing and an overwhelming sense of sadness that led her to contemplate suicide.

"I just wanted the pain to stop, I needed the pain to stop," said Fatal.

It marked the culmination of a long battle with depression.

"When I saw that I was becoming more introverted and staying away from friends and family, I was like, 'Wow. Something is wrong,'" said Fatal.

Depressive disorders affect nearly 19 million Americans in any given year and can be triggered by trauma or a stressful situation.

"I think as there's more and more publicity, it's more well known and there's interest in the community for people to be appropriately diagnosed and appropriately treated," said Dr. Sayonara Baez with Memorial Healthcare.

Warning signs of depression include a persistent sad or empty mood; changes in sleeping and eating habits; restlessness or irritability; loss of energy; difficulty concentrating; a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed; and, thoughts of death or suicide.

"A lot of people don't know they have depression and a lot of times it's pointed out by others," said Baez.

Group therapy classes have helped Fatal overcome her darkest moments.

"That's what I'm working on, stopping that ride, getting off that rollercoaster ride. I want my ride to be fun," said Fatal.

The free depression screenings are being held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 11.

To schedule an appointment, call: 954-965-6408, ext. 209.

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