What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
Causes & Risk Factors
There is no single cause of depression.
Potential triggers of depression include:
- genetic or family history of depression
- psychological or emotional vulnerability to depression
- biological factors such as imbalances in brain chemistry and in the endocrine/immune systems
- major stress in the person’s life.
Depression and physical illness
- the result of another illness that shares the same symptoms
- a reaction to another illness
- caused by neurological changes resulting from a physical illness .
How Accurate Is It
This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider or doctor.
Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.
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What Tests Results Mean
When the results of your blood work come back, there may be a clear next step for you to take. For example, if you have low levels of vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend you start taking a vitamin supplement or receive injections.
If you are diagnosed with a medical condition such as hypothyroidism or diabetes, you may find your depression symptoms start to get better as soon as you begin treatment for the underlying condition. They may even resolve once the condition is managed.
When blood tests indicate you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend making some lifestyle changes. You may find that adjusting your diet and getting regular exercise help ease your depression symptoms, too.
The results of your blood tests may prompt your doctor to ask you about your alcohol and drug use as well. If you are using substances or dealing with addiction, it’s crucial that you are honest with your doctor. Getting support and treatment for addiction is part of addressing depression.
For your safety, as well as the efficacy of treatment, your doctor needs to know if you are using drugs or alcohol, as it may influence the medications they prescribe.
Atypical Depression In The 21st Century: Diagnostic As Well As Therapy Concerns
Usual symptoms consist of sleeping excessive, having little to no power, and also overindulging. The problem in the summer season can consist of enhanced anxiousness. It was likewise kept in mind that 23 of the individuals had traveled how to diagnosis major depression north or south during their depressive episodes. Twenty-nine of them discovered a modification in state of mind after taking a trip and also revealed boosted state of mind within a couple of days of traveling southern, which deteriorated when taking a trip back north.
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Primary Relevance In Schizophrenia And Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders
Social anhedonia is a core characteristic of , which is defined as a continuum of personality traits that can range from normal to disordered and contributes to risk for and . Social anhedonia is a dimension of both negative and positive schizotypy. It involves social and interpersonal deficits, but is also associated with cognitive slippage and disorganized speech, both of which fall into the category of positive schizotypy. Not all people with schizophrenia display social anhedonia and likewise, people who have social anhedonia may never be diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder if they do not have the positive and cognitive symptoms that are most frequently associated with most schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.
Social anhedonia may be a valid predictor of future schizophrenia-spectrum disorders young adults with social anhedonia perform in a similar direction to schizophrenia patients in tests of cognition and social behavior, showing potential predictive validity. Social anhedonia usually manifests in adolescence, possibly because of a combination of the occurrence of critical neuronal development and synaptic pruning of brain regions important for social behavior and environmental changes, when adolescents are in the process of becoming individuals and gaining more independence.
Treatment For Anxiety And Depression
The first step to treatment is to talk with a healthcare provider, such as your childs primary care provider or a mental health specialist, about getting an evaluation. Some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression in children could be caused by other conditions, such as trauma. A mental health professional can develop a therapy plan that works best for the child and family. Behavior therapy includes child therapy, family therapy, or a combination of both. For very young children, involving parents in treatment is key the school can also be included in the treatment plan. Consultation with a healthcare provider can help determine if medication should be part of the treatment.
If you need help finding treatment, visit MentalHealth.govexternal icon.
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First Stop: Talking Therapies
Psychotherapy remains the cornerstone of treatment. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most studied of the therapies, but other forms are effective too. CBT works by addressing the thoughts and behaviours that act to entrench depression.
When people are depressed they tend to withdraw from their social networks. They no longer enjoy social interactions and think theyre unappealing company. By spending more time alone, and less time around people whose company they would usually enjoy, the depression gets worse, leading to even more time spent alone, and so on.
CBT and most other therapies act to break this feedback loop by challenging the thoughts and behaviours that reinforce social isolation, and getting people engaged again.
How do you find a therapist?
Your GP should be able to recommend one, or you can find names in the directories at the Australian Psychological Society and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. If youre between 12 and 25, headspace is a good option.
Most therapists are psychologists or psychiatrists, but some have backgrounds in occupational therapy and social work. There is actually no need for a formal qualification to work as a therapist my five-year-old daughter could put up her shingle. But it becomes important for claiming rebates, as well as feeling confident youre seeing someone with a degree of competence.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Depression
Every person with depression is different, and everyone with depression has a unique set of circumstances. Usually, a combination of factors will contribute. While you often can’t pinpoint the cause of the depression, understanding the circumstances can sometimes help you understand how to best manage it.
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Why A Mental Health Professional Is Best
It’s very importantespecially if this is your first time seeking treatment for depressionthat you obtain a referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional if your general practitioner suspects depression.
Though your family doctor or general practitioner may offer to prescribe you an antidepressant, they are not always the best-qualified doctor to treat depression. They do not possess the training to offer you psychotherapy nor are they experienced in the nuances of prescribing psychotropic medications the way that a psychiatrist is.
Psychiatry is a blend of art and science. Treating depression is not quite as simple as giving someone a prescription for Zoloft or Prozac and sending them on their way. Some individuals will need several trials of different medications to find one that best relieves their symptoms with the least amount of side effects.
Some people will need more than one medication to counteract side effects or to boost positive effects. Most will likely benefit from adding psychotherapy to the mix. Discussing options with your psychiatrist will determine the best path.
Depression Discussion Guide
Besides the medication specifics, you may have a completely different mental health condition and not depression. Bipolar disorder is one such disorder that may be initially misdiagnosed as depression but requires a very different course of treatment.
Major Depressive Disorder With Seasonal Pattern
Previously called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, this type of depression is related to the reduction in daylight during the fall and winter.
It lifts during the rest of the year and in response to light therapy.
People who live in countries with long or severe winters seem to be affected more by this condition.
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How Is Depression Different From Sadness
What is the difference between depression and sadness? Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness it can be hard to know how to make a distinction between the two psychological states.
But depression is more than just sadness, and not simply by a measure of degree. The difference doesnât lie in the extent to which a person feels down, but rather in a combination of factors relating to the duration of these negative feelings, other symptoms, bodily impact, and the effect upon the individualâs ability to function in daily life.
Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone will experience at some point in his or her life. Be it the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one, sadness is usually caused by a specific situation, person, or event. When it comes to depression, however, no such trigger is needed. A person suffering from depression feels sad or hopeless about everything. This person may have every reason in the world to be happy and yet they lose the ability to experience joy or pleasure.
With sadness, you might feel down in the dumps for a day or two, but youâre still able to enjoy simple things like your favorite TV show, food, or spending time with friends. This isnât the case when someone is dealing with depression. Even activities that they once enjoyed are no longer interesting or pleasurable.
When Seeking To Combat Depression
In addition, you can get and give suggestions on how to deal with depression. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who empathize with your situation can make you feel less alone.
Depression symptoms might be exacerbated by a bad diet. Its difficult to break the cycle of depression that results from eating poorly. Stay away from fatty meals and eat healthily.
Know that you are not crazy, but depressed instead. Depressive symptoms are our bodies way of telling us that something isnt quite right. We become depressed when our emotions react to the foolishness of the environment around us. In other words, youre a normal human being in an insane environment, not insane yourself.
Clinical investigations have consistently demonstrated that persons who oversleep or sleep too little are more likely to suffer from clinical depression than those who sleep enough.
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New Specifiers For Depression In Dsm
The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the DSM-5, added two specifiers to further classify diagnoses:
- With Mixed Features â This specifier allows for the presence of manic symptoms as part of the depression diagnosis in patients who do not meet the full criteria for a manic episode.
- With Anxious Distress â The presence of anxiety in patients may affect prognosis, treatment options, and the patientâs response to them. Clinicians will need to assess whether or not the individual experiencing depression also presents with anxious distress.
Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to be active and exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.
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Symptoms Of Major Depression
Symptoms of major depression include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. Other symptoms may include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Fatigue or low energy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
One would most likely see these symptoms for two weeks to one month. People who have these symptoms might also have other signs, like changes in appetite, weight, feeling tired or guilty. They might think that it is better to die than live. They might find it hard to think clearly or make decisions. If you think someone is having the above mentioned, you should not wait to get help from a mental health professional. A person shouldnt feel embarrassed about seeking help for depression, it is a very common problem.
How Can My Healthcare Provider Tell Whether I Am Sad Or Depressed
Throughout life, people face many situations that result in feelings of sadness or grief: death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the ending of a relationship. Your healthcare provider, during your appointment, will likely have an unstructured conversation with you to figure out whether you might be clinically depressed or whether you are struggling with a temporary sadness that is not depression.
While depression shares some characteristics with grief and sadness, they are not the same. Typically, people experiencing grief will feel overwhelming sad feelings in waves, according to the American Psychiatric Association. In the case of grief, self-esteem is usually maintained.
With Major Depressive Disorder , the painful emotions tend to persist without much relief and often are paired with feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing. The National Institutes of Health writes that Major Depressive Disorder causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. These symptoms must be present for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed with depression.
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What Are The Dsm
The specific DSM-5 criteria for major depressive disorder are outlined below.
At least 5 of the following symptoms have to have been present during the same 2-week period :
Depressed mood: For children and adolescents, this can also be an irritable mood
Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in almost all activities
Significant weight change or appetite disturbance: For children, this can be failure to achieve expected weight gain
Psychomotor agitation or retardation
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness
Diminished ability to think or concentrate indecisiveness
Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide
The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
The symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition.
The disturbance is not better explained by a persistent schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or other specified or unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
There has never been a manic episode or a hypomanic episode
What Does The Doctor Look For To Make A Depression Diagnosis
A doctor can rule out other conditions that may cause depression with a physical examination, a personal interview, and lab tests. The doctor will also do a complete diagnostic evaluation, discussing any family history of depression or other mental illness.
Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, including how long you’ve had them, when they started, and how they were treated. Theyâll ask about the way you feel, including whether you have any symptoms of depression such as:
- Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
- Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
- Major change in weight or appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
- Physical restlessness or sense of being run-down that others can notice
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
- Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt
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How Is Depression Syndrome Diagnosed
Everyone may feel sad or down from time to time. However, clinical depression has more intense symptoms that last two weeks or longer.
To determine whether you have clinical depression, your healthcare provider will ask questions. You may complete a questionnaire and provide a family history. Your healthcare provider may also perform an exam or order lab tests to see if you have another medical condition.