IDENTIFYING DEPRESSION – DIAGNOSIS METHODS

Depression is termed as a mood disorder where a person is filled with negative thoughts and those thoughts affect specific body functions like sleeping, appetite, sex drive and others. There are a lot of differences between feeling blue for a considerable amount of time and having depression disorder. How should you diagnose whether you have depression?

Physical examination

This is the first stage of diagnosis. In this step, a doctor asks a set of questions to you about your health, both physical and mental. Doctor would try to link any physical problem with underlying mental pain. This could take a while and only if subject is ready to reveal all details about his physical and mental condition, doctor can diagnose effectively.

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Lab test

Lab test

There is no blood test for testing depression. There is one study which is still in testing stage. Your doctor may request you to take up blood test for checking functionality of your thyroid. If your thyroid is functioning properly, you would be subjected to next set of diagnosis.

Psychological analysis

Psychological analysis

A psychoanalyst or psychiatrist might evaluate your mental state by talking about your experiences, feelings, patterns and others. You might be asked a series of questions and you are expected to be honest. If you have a positive result in all above tests, you would be advised to take DSM-5.

DSM-5

DSM-5

DSM-5 is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder which was published by American Psychiatric Association. This manual would help doctor determine whether you are suffering from depression or not.

Common signs and symptoms for clinical diagnosis

For clinical diagnosis, following symptoms are checked in a subject.

  1. Depressed mood and constantly irritable
  2. Reduced or lack of interest in pleasure or any other activities that would induce fun.
  3. Significant decrease or increase in weight, without any reason.
  4. Decrease or increase in appetite
  5. Restlessness and slowed focus or lack of attention
  6. Trouble in decision making
  7. Thoughts of suicide or attempts for suicide

While analyzing symptoms, it is important to make sure that you do not get misguided with similar symptoms of other medical conditions.

  1. Bipolar disorder has mood swings which might resemble depression.
  2. Cyclothymic disorder
  3. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder which is common in children
  4. Persistent depressive disorder which is a less severe form of depression
  5. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder that happens due to change in hormone before onset of menstruation.
  6. Depression caused by withdrawal of recreational drugs.

Your symptoms may not be severe enough for people around you to notice or to affect your daily activities. If you doubt that you might be suffering from depression, it is better to go to a doctor, as soon as possible. With psychological counseling, change in daily routine and medication you would be out of the problem in no time. If you delay more, you may end up with long term treatment.

The risk of suicide

People afflicted with depression have a high tendency of harboring thoughts on suicide. The main cause for the problem is that the affected minds are gravely struck in a mindset of despair. For the harried mind it is believed death which means committing suicide would be the best option to escape from the excruciating situation of mental pain. It is far more crucial to identify the troubled minds in the initial stage itself to commence the healing process in a planned manner and get better results. Having a no strings attached conversation with the affected persons alone can aid in identifying the patient in them. For the conversation to happen in first place, the person needs to be bought into a psychological comfort zone and things need to be initiated from that point. Over the conversation it is quite possible to infer the exact state of mind a person is in.

Some of the most visible signs of taking a step towards suicide would be:

  • Expressing their thoughts on banishing themselves by taking off their life.
  • Showing adequate signs of being mentally struck in an abyss and being not able to overcome the tormenting situation.
  • Having a strong obsession towards death and be possessed by a constant morbid feeling and simply unable to perform any job in a full-fledged manner.
  • Be occupied with an inherent streak of going about doing any work in a haphazard way with the sole objective of dying. There can be many instances which could be cited for this condition like driving the car in a rash way or playing with hazardous things knowing well that it would put their precious life into danger.
  • Another often recorded sign is when the affected individual goes about visiting near and dear ones just to bid farewell.
  • Disposing off their most valuable collections in their life by distributing it to close friends, relatives or acquaintances.
  • Attempting to patch up with people with whom they could have had a strained relationship and also try to resolve issues nagging them for a long duration by compromising over them.
  • A worrying sign could also be when the individuals consistently utter words like their family or friends would be doing well without their presence in the world. There may also be frequent quarrels picked up with absolutely no worthwhile reason and over negligible issues.
  • There may also be instances of the affected individual abruptly changing mindset from being extremely depressed to a state where everything appears normal ad they may also pretend that they are indeed in a very good mood.

In same tone, there are a lot of online pharmacies from which you can order antidepressants easily. Just because you doubt that you may be depressed, you cannot buy and start using antidepressants. You need to talk to a doctor to analyze whether you are really depressed and also find which medicine would suit you, based on your medical records.

 


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