New symptoms of depression toolkit helps patients and caregivers with “More Than Mood” symptoms

Do you or someone you care about suffer from depression? There’s hope; there’s help. Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) has launched  “More than Mood: A Depression Symptoms Toolkit for Families and Caregivers, which helps equip patients and their caregivers – like Don and his brother Dan – with the tools they need to recognize, describe and treat  “lesser-known” symptoms of depression.

About Major Depression

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S, with nearly 16 million U.S. adults suffering from a major depressive episode a year. But there is a lack of understanding around one of the more challenging aspects of depression – cognitive impairment. While patients and clinicians are aware that depression affects mood, self-worth and energy, it can also affect reasoning, organization, attention and memory (ROAM). With resources including a symptom tracking chart that caregivers can use as a discussion guide to help describe the difficult-to-verbalize symptoms of ROAM to healthcare providers, as well as videos of two families – both a patient and caregiver – sharing their personal stories. FFDA is working to raise awareness and empower patients and caregivers with the right tools to seek effective treatment. Check out the complete Depression Symptoms Toolkit for Families and Caregivers available online.

The complete “More than Mood: A Depression Symptoms Toolkit” on the FFDA website includes a range of materials:

  • Downloadable fact sheets for patients and caregivers that describe ROAM and the role of the family caregiver in treatment, as well as a discussion guide and symptom tracking chart to help interact with clinicians
  • An online “Depression Wellness Analyzer” to assess symptoms including those related to ROAM
  • Videos featuring patients and their family caregivers sharing their experiences of managing ROAM symptoms
  • A video that demonstrates cognitive impairment in real-life situations;
  • A recorded webinar with a leading researcher about cognitive impairment; and
  • A handbook about cognitive impairment symptoms occurring with mental health conditions.

About Families for Depression Awareness

Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization that helps families recognize, address, and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides. FFDA’s programs provide education, tools, and strategies that equip family caregivers to help those affected by mood disorders. FFDA’s staff, board of directors, and volunteers have professional or personal experience with depression, bipolar disorder, or suicide loss that both motivates and informs their work. Learn more about FFDA at familyaware.org.

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