How Do I Know If I Have Depression Or Not
An online depression test is not enough to get a diagnosis. The only way to receive a diagnosis of depression is to contact a healthcare professional. A psychologist or physician can make sure all of the criteria for depression are met.
There are some clinics that provide remote consultations through their apps. You can receive the first consultation at home, without having to visit a clinic. Here are two of the most popular online clinics:
- For people living in the UK, contact Babylon.
- For people living in Sweden, contact Kry.
Check Your Ability To Function As Usual
The biggest gauge of clinical depression is how your life is being impacted. If you cannot function as usual on a daily basis, its a big indication of a major depressive episode. Some people with depression dont want to work, interact with others or get out of bed. Sometimes this change may be more obvious to the people around you than to yourself.
When I meet a patient for the first time and we have a conversation about whats going on, I ask if that persons friends, family and co-workers have noticed a change in them, Dr. Sowa says.
Because depression often takes time to develop, the changes may not seem as drastic to you, or you may try to rationalize them away. Its important to listen to your loved ones about depression symptoms they may see in you.
Because we are living in such stressful times, more people are reporting symptoms of depression. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and other crises in the news, including systemic racial injustice and natural disasters, can make it harder to maintain mental health. Whether you think you have clinical depression or not, its a good idea to speak to your doctor about how youre feeling, Dr. Sowa says.
Talk to your doctor about your mood and any mental health concerns you have. Need a doctor? Find one near you.
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/
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Can You Inherit Depression
Genetic factors do play a role in depression, but so do biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Unipolar depression is less likely to be inherited than Bipolar disorder , says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.
While depression does tend to run in families, just because a family member has depression does not mean you are going to get it, says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology and management at Union College and chief in the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, both in Schenectady, New York. It is not a simple gene thing, he says. And the important thing is not so much why a person has depression but what are we going to do to help them.
Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
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Take A Depression Test
The depression symptoms test, MADRS-S , can give you an overall view of your mood. Remember, questionnaires cant provide you with a complete diagnosis. In clinical practice, the results are used as general guidelines.
The test usually takes 510 minutes to complete. the Flow depression app to take the test for free. In addition, the app will offer you over 50 virtual therapy sessions .
Take A Mental Health Test
Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. And recovery is possible.
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How Do Doctors Test For Depression
To assess your symptoms of depression, a clinical interview is conducted by a professional, such as a medical doctor, licensed mental health therapist, psychiatrist, or nurse practitioner. The test usually includes gathering information from you about the depression symptoms youâre experiencing.
Providers may also choose to utilize a variety of different psychological measures, like the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 , the Beck Depression Inventory , or other similar forms.
How Do I Know When To Seek Help
The biggest hurdle to diagnosing and treating depression is recognizing that someone has it. Unfortunately, about half of the people who have depression never get diagnosed or treated. And not getting treatment can be life threatening: More than 10% of people who have depression take their own lives.
- When depression is hurting your life, such as causing trouble with relationships, work issues, or family disputes, and there isn’t a clear solution to these problems, you should seek help to keep things from getting worse, especially if these feelings last for any length of time.
- If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, seek help right away.
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Identifying Changes In Behavior
Where Can I Find Clinical Trials For Depression
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive better help in the future.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information.
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Depression And Suicide: Getting Help In A Crisis
Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide . If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide please seek immediate help. The following resources can help:
- Call to reach a 24hour crisis center or dial 911. is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, which provides free confidential help to people in crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon runs this lifeline.
- Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
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Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
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How Do I Know If Im Depressed
People often say things like I feel so depressed or thats depressing, but the truth is that depression is a well defined mental disorder, including nine different symptoms. Worth noting is that its not enough to experience the symptoms to be diagnosed with depression. There are several depression criteria to consider.
Well start with the symptoms of depression. The DSM-5 is a handbook, frequently used by mental health professionals in the US and all over Europe. It contains lots of facts about depression, including the symptoms:
- Depressed mood: Feeling blue most of the day, nearly every day.
- Loss of interest and pleasure: Markedly reduced interest/pleasure in all activities most of the day.
- Changed appetite or weight .
- Sleep disturbance .
- Moving more slowly than usual or making meaningless movements due to anxiety .
- Lacking energy: Feeling tired nearly every day.
- Having difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions.
- Having suicidal thoughts or sometimes wishing you were dead.
Lets continue with the depression criteria. Its not enough to experience some of the symptoms to receive a diagnosis of depression. The following conditions also apply:
Depression can be tricky to recognise and diagnose because there are so many symptoms and criteria to consider. The next paragraph includes a commonly used online depression test, which gives you an indication of the severity of your depressive symptoms.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
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Seeing A Doctor About Depression
Big changes in your life, like bereavement, losing a job, or even having a baby, can cause symptoms of depression. You’re also more likely to experience depression if you have a family history of depression. However, it’s also possible to become depressed without there being an obvious reason.
You can learn more about depression causes here.
What Treatment Should I Be Offered
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence writes guidance on what treatment doctors should offer you. But your doctor does not have to give you these treatments. And the treatments may not be available in your area.
Different treatments may be available in your area. Your doctor might think these suit your symptoms more than the recommended treatments.
NICE recommend that depression is treated in different steps depending on how severe the condition is for you. The steps are as follows.
Step 1: Everyone who may have depression
Your doctor should offer you:
- an assessment of your symptoms,
- support, such as regular appointments in person or by telephone,
- information on how to deal with your symptoms,
- monitoring of your symptoms and follow-up, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 2: Mild to moderate depression
Your doctor may offer you:
- low-intensity interventions, such as self-help guided by the doctor or computerised cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- physical activity programmes,
- group cognitive behavioural therapy ,
- medication if you have a history of moderate or severe depression, or you have had symptoms for a long time, and
- referral for further assessment and treatment if needed.
Step 3: Moderate to severe depression, or mild to moderate depression when other treatments havent worked
Your doctor may suggest:
Step 4: Severe and complex depression or if your life is at risk Your doctor may suggest:
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Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:
- doing poorly at work
- difficulties with your family or home life
It’s not always possible to tell that you’re having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people don’t realise they’re ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that there’s a problem.
How Can Depression Symptoms Lead To A Depression Diagnosis
To be diagnosed with major depression, you must have at least five of the symptoms listed above with at least one of the first two nearly daily for at least 2 weeks.
Depression symptoms can last weeks, months, or sometimes years. They can affect personality and interfere with social relationships and work habits, potentially making it difficult for others to have empathy for you. Some symptoms are so disabling that they interfere significantly with your ability to function. In very severe cases, people with depression may be unable to eat, maintain their hygiene, or even get out of bed.
Episodes may happen only once in a lifetime or may be recurrent, chronic, or longstanding. In some cases, they seem to last forever. Symptoms may appear to be precipitated by life crises. At other times, they may seem to happen at random.
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Irritability And Angry Outbursts
Typically, symptoms must last at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed, so take this into consideration throughout the depression quiz then ask for an assessment from a mental health professional for further information and treatment, Furthermore, medical conditions such as vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for symptoms of depression so it is important to fully consider all possible causes as you take any depression quiz or inventory. Mental health can impact your energy levels, how tired you are, your stress, sleeping habits, mood, thoughts, and so much more. Keep reading to find out more about what treatment might be right for you.