How To Tell If You Have Depression
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.
Classification In Relation To Depression Rating Scales And Questionnaires
Depression rating scales and questionnaires give ranges that are proposed to describe different severities of depression. Some of these were described in of the first NICE depression guideline. In reconsidering this for this guideline and the guideline update, it quickly became apparent not only that there is no consensus for the proposed ranges but also that the ranges in different rating scales and questionnaires do not correspond with each other. In addition, there a variable degree of correlation between different scales, which indicates that the they do not measure precisely the same aspects of depression. When these factors are added to the need to consider more than symptoms in determining severity, and more than severity in considering diagnosis, the GDG was concerned not to perpetuate a spurious precision in relating scores in depression rating scales and questionnaires to the diagnosis or severity of depression, which must in the end be a clinical judgement.
Signs And Symptoms Of Major Depression
Each child may experience symptoms of major depression differently. To be diagnosed with major depression, a child needs to show at least one of the following two symptoms for most days of the week, for most of the day, during the same two-week period:
Persistent feelings of sadness or irritability
Loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities once enjoyed
In addition, several of the following symptoms must also be present:
Feeling hopeless or helpless
Frequent physical complaints, such as a headache, stomachache, or fatigue
Thoughts of wishing to be dead
Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Its crucial to remember that depression symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behaviors must be taken very seriously.
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Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder Icd
According to ICD-10: A recurrent major depressive disorder characterized by repeated episodes of depression as described for the depressive episode, without any history of independent episodes of mood elevation and increased energy . There may, however, be brief episodes of mild mood elevation and overactivity immediately after a depressive episode, sometimes precipitated by antidepressant treatment. The more severe forms of recurrent depressive disorder have much in common with earlier concepts such as manic-depressive depression, melancholia, vital depression, and endogenous depression. The first episode may occur at any age from childhood to old age, the onset may be either acute or insidious, and the duration varies from a few weeks to many months. The risk that a patient with the recurrent depressive disorder will have an episode of mania never disappears completely, however many depressive episodes have been experienced. If such an episode does occur, the diagnosis should be changed to bipolar affective disorder.
Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder ICD-10: Mild, Moderate, Severe, Psychotic.According to ICD-10:
Testing And Diagnosis Of Major Depression
If you believe your child suffers from major depression, talk to your childs pediatrician or seek out either a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in children and adolescents. An accurate diagnosis and early treatment are keys to success in managing major depression. Depression can also occur alongside other behavioral health disorders, such as substance abuse or anxiety disorders. With the level of complexity often involved in diagnosing and treating depression, finding a highly trained professional, such as a pediatrician, licensed clinical social worker, a child psychologist, or a child and adolescent psychiatrist, is important.At Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, a specialist will perform a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. The evaluation may assess:
Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of your child’s current symptoms, behaviors, and functioning
Expectations for the course of the condition
Family dynamics and environmental stressors
Family psychiatric and medical history
Input from teachers and other care providers
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Major Depressive Disorder Vs Depression
All of us feel sad sometimes. While we may casually use the term depressed to describe the moment when they are sad, there is a difference between sadness and depression. Someone with depression may feel sad, guilty, or hopeless, but not really understand whyand the feeling can linger for weeks or even months. If you are struggling with constant sadness or hopelessness, its important to understand what depression is, what causes it, and what you can do to manage it. Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical depression is the more severe form of depression. It isnt the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.
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.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
When you face the low feelings of depression, hope can seem distant. But the good news, says Beth Esposito, MS, LPCC-S, LSW, of Samaritan Behavioral Health: Depression is a treatable illness.
Depression treatment that works for one person, however, may not work for another. Thats because depression varies from one person to the next in severity and type. Finding the right treatment for you may take time and fine-tuning, Esposito says.
She offers the following comparisons of two common types of depression and their symptoms, diagnosis and treatment:
- Bipolar depression, which is characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania
- Unipolar depression, more commonly known as major depression, which has no manic periods
If you experience one episode of depression, you are at risk of recurring bouts.
Who Experiences Depression
If youve experienced depression, youre not alone: research shows that teens and young adults are the most likely age group to report having major depressive episodesand of those with depression, nearly 75 percent of them experienced symptoms severe enough to interfere with their day-to-day routines. Among teens and young adults, there are certain groups who are more likely to struggle with depression.
- Girls and young women are more likely to report that they struggle with depression than boys and young men.
- Teens who identify as Native American or Native Alaskan, as well as teens who identify as being more than one race, report experiencing more depressive episodes than their peers of other races.
- Transgender youth are more likely to report symptoms of depression, and are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide than their cisgender peers.
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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 .
Persistent Depressive Disorder Is A Serious Mental Illness
Just because the symptoms are often milder than those of major depression does not mean you should take PDD lightly. It reduces quality of life, makes getting through every day more difficult, and increases the risk of developing other mental illnesses or a substance use disorder. It can also increase the risk of suicide.
Its important to seek a diagnosis if you feel down all the time. Dont assume lack of severity means you have to live this way. Like major depression, dysthymia is treatable. You can learn to manage this illness, improve your mood, and enjoy a greater quality of life.
You dont have to live with this constant, low-level of depression and hopelessness. Help is similar as for other types of depression and is just as important for managing symptoms and potential complications.
Treatment is similar to what people with major depression receive: medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes. While some people assume this condition is not serious enough for antidepressants, studies show medications can be helpful for many people with PDD.
Of course, you should never use medication alone to treat depression. Combined with therapy that helps you manage your negative thoughts and moods, the proper course of medications can also be effective in reducing symptoms and episodes. Lifestyle changes help too, including a healthy diet, exercise, and relying on social support.
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What Does Severe Depression Feel Like
Severe depression is classified as having the symptoms of mild to moderate depression, but the symptoms are severe and noticeable, even to your loved ones.
Episodes of major depression last an average of six months or longer. Sometimes severe depression can go away after a while, but it can also be recurrent for some people.
Diagnosis is especially crucial in severe depression, and it may even be time-sensitive.
Major forms of depression may also cause:
- suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Severe depression requires medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor will likely recommend an SSRI and some form of talk therapy.
If youre experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, you should seek immediate medical attention. Call your local emergency services or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 right away.
Diagnosis Specificity Goes Beyond Reimbursement In This Case Supporting Documentation And The Further Specified Diagnosis Lets Everyone Else Know The Patients Acuity
You review the PHQ-9 questionnaire and see a score of 25. In your note, you document the patients symptoms along with a diagnosis of depression make a referral for follow up care start the patient on an antidepressant to help with the symptoms and schedule a follow up visit in 3 weeks to assess the effectiveness of the medication.
It looks like you covered all your bases, but before you close out that chart, pause for a minute and consider the following questions:
Did you know Depression codes to Depression, Unspecified and does not reflect the severity or episode of the disorder?
- Does your diagnosis accurately reflect the acuity or severity of depression for the patient?
- Does the diagnosis reflect the resources a care coordination team may utilize to make sure the patient receives the appropriate follow up care or interventions?
- Does the diagnosis support the need for a referral or the medication you prescribed?
- Does the diagnosis of depression support the E/M level of service?
- Is a treatment plan, pharmacotherapy, and/or psychotherapy recommended on the PHQ-9 for a diagnosis of depression?
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When To Get Help For Depression
Depression is treatable and symptoms can improve with therapy, lifestyle changes, and in some cases medications. If you have been struggling with the symptoms of depressionespecially if they are disrupting your regular habits around sleeping or eatingits a good idea to reach out to a physician or mental health professional for support in figuring out what kind of treatment is right for you. While it may feel overwhelming, its important to seek professional help to manage depression. If left untreated, depression can get worse, and mild cases of depression can become more severe over time.
If you think a friend may be struggling with depression, talk with them about what youve noticed, and remember not to blame them for what they are experiencing. Blame will only increase their negative feelings and worsen their symptoms. Instead, encourage them to seek professional help.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or thinking about attempting suicide, reach out for support immediately. You can text START to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK to chat with a trained counselor anytime. If you believe you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
What Is Minor Depression
The clinical difference between minor depression and major depression is how many symptoms are present. Minor depression may also be known assubclinical depression. This means that relevant symptoms are present but not enough to qualify for a diagnosis ofmajor depressive disorder MDD. For major depressive disorder to be diagnosed, at least five symptoms must be present most days for at least two weeks.
Minor depression may be present when an individual has betweentwo and four depression symptoms causing functional impairment. Also, no manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes occur with these depression symptoms. Minor depression may eventuallydevelop into major depressive disorder, especially if left untreated.
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Our Depression Treatment Can Help
Regardless of whether you have MDD or PDD, both conditions can be impairing and difficult to manage without professional care. Depression of any level is a life-changing condition that requires the steady, constant, and evidence-based treatment offered at Banyan Mental Health.
If you or someone you care about has depression or any other form of mental illness, our PHP or residential mental health program can help. Our specialists take the time to get to know our clients and determine which care plans work best for them. We will work with you or a loved one every step of the way to set them up for a happy and successful life after treatment.
Understanding Depression And Depressive Disorders
All of us feel sad sometimes. Maybe we didnt do well on a test at school or we got into a fight with a friend. Reactions to sadness can really vary. Some people let themselves sink into their feelings and may cope by crying, spending some time alone, or maybe finding something fun to distract themselves from negative thoughts. Other people react to feeling sad by getting angry, irritable, or wanting to avoid or control things as a way to manage the feelings they cant control. When feelings of sadness are caused by an event or situation, it is common to feel better within a few days. Sometimes, though, feelings of sadness do not go away and may get worse.
While some people may casually use the term depressed when they are sad, there is a difference between sadness and depression. Someone with depression may feel sad, guilty, or hopeless, but not really understand whyand the feeling can linger for weeks or even months. If you are struggling with constant sadness or hopelessness, its important to understand what depression is, what causes it, and what you can do to manage it.
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Understanding The Clinical Terminology
The clinical term depression most often refers to major depression, also known as major depressive disorder. This mood disorder causes persistent sadness and a loss of interest in normal activities or things a person used to enjoy.
If you have depression, you likely have many other symptoms, but these two are the most characteristic signs of major depression. Other symptoms include difficulty thinking, feelings of guilt or shame, irritability, and changes in sleep or eating patterns.
Major depression causes symptoms severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. They typically persist daily for at least two weeks.
Key Points About Depression
Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects your whole body including your mood and thoughts.
Its caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some types of depression seem to run in families.
Depression causes ongoing, extreme feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopeless, and irritability. These feelings are usually a noticeable change from whats normal for you, and they last for more than two weeks.
Depression may be diagnosed after a careful psychiatric exam and medical history done by a mental health professional.
Depression is most often treated with medicine or therapy, or a combination of both.
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What Can I Do If I Have Depression
If you have symptoms of depression, see your healthcare provider. They can give you an accurate diagnosis, refer you to a specialist or suggest treatment options.
If you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves or taking their own life:
- Go to the emergency department of your hospital.
- Contact a healthcare provider.
- Speak to a trusted friend, family member or spiritual leader.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Depression is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Anyone can experience depression even if there doesnt seem to be a reason for it. Causes of depression include difficulties in life, brain chemistry abnormalities, some medications and physical conditions. The good news is that depression is treatable. If you have symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can feel better
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2020.
Risk Factors For Depression
Depression is caused by a combination of factors, including but not limited to::
- Biology: How our brains produce and absorb chemicals like serotonin and dopamine can have effects on our mood and how well we can regulate our emotions.
- Genetics: Depression may have genetic links. People who have parents or siblings with symptoms of depression are at higher risk for depression.
- Perceived social isolation and family rejection: People who experience rejection or isolation from friends, family, and wider communities are at a higher risk for depression. For example, LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience social and familial rejection, and are at increased risk of harassment and violence as they grow up. This added stress can have negative outcomes regarding physical, mental, and emotional health. It is important to note, though, that it can sometimes be hard to tell when we already feel depressed if someone is intending to reject us or we feel rejected even if that is not their intention.
- Childhood trauma: Children who grow up in unstable environments or experience traumatic events early in lifesuch as experiencing or witnessing abuse, living with someone with a substance use disorder, or having divorced parentsare more likely to experience mental health issues, including depression.
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