What Is The Beck Depression Inventory
The Beck Depression Inventory is a 21-question self-report rating that measures the symptoms of depression in an individual. Clinicians use it to determine what level of treatment a person needs for depression. It was developed by Aaron T. Beck, a renowned psychiatrist, who is considered the “father of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.”
To understand what the Beck Depression Inventory is and how it is used, it’s crucial to first learn about how it was developed. You can request to take the Beck Depression Inventory from your doctor, or you can find it online to take a self-assessment. That can help you when you speak to a medical professional to report your symptoms.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a clinical term that describes a persistent depressed mood. When a person is depressed, they experience a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. Depression is known for causing significant problems in a person’s daily life. It is common for people to experience sadness when there’s a death in the family, financial stress, a breakup, or losing a job. However, when sadness persists for long periods without reason, you may be experiencing clinical depression.
A chemical imbalance can cause depression in the brain. It is treated through psychotherapy and sometimes with medications, such as antidepressants. Psychotherapy provides the patient with coping mechanisms and techniques that relieve symptoms of depression, while medication therapy corrects the chemical imbalance.
Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
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.
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Treatment For People With Seasonal Depression
If you have depression that usually occurs in winter and gets better in the lighter months, your healthcare professional should offer you the same treatments as for other forms of depression. If you wish to try light therapy instead of the recommended treatments, your healthcare professional should advise you that it is unclear whether light therapy is helpful for people with depression.
Mild Depression And Moderate Depression
Mild depression and moderate depression tend to cause symptoms that are similar to severe depression, except these are less extreme.
This doesnt mean that these types of depression are insignificant. Mild and moderate depression can still affect you on a daily basis, although youre more likely to experience small improvements in your symptoms from day-to-day.
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What Is Moderate Depression
While everyone feels down from time to time, depression is a serious mental health condition that can make it difficult to function normally. But depression can vary in intensity. How depression is experienced can vary from one person to the next, and the condition can also be classified as either mild, moderate, or severe.
One survey found that among U.S. adults with depression, approximately 20% had mild symptoms, 50% had moderate symptoms, and 30% had severe symptoms.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 19.4 million of American adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2019.
When a major depressive disorder is diagnosed, it is typically classified by the degree of severity as well as whether or not there are psychotic features or a seasonal pattern. Moderately severe depression is marked by symptoms of depression that can affect a persons ability to function normally. It may differ from mild depression in terms of severity and frequency of symptoms that a person experiences.
Someone with moderate depression may experience symptoms that are more serious in terms of severity and duration than someone with mild depression. They may also experience more symptoms than a person with mild depression does.
- Lack of motivation
- Low self-esteem
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.
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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.
Whats The Difference Between Depression And Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent depressive disorder is a type of depression. Its less severe than major depressive disorder another type but its ongoing. Its defined as lasting at least two years in adults and at least one year in children and teens. During this time, symptoms can’t be absent for more than two consecutive months to meet the criteria for PDD.
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Treatment And Care For People Who Are Referred To A Specialist Mental Health Service Or Hospital
People with severe depression who are worried about harming themselves or are at risk of doing so, have hallucinations or delusions, and/or need care from a team of professionals may be referred to a specialist mental health service.
Here your symptoms should be assessed and a member of your care team should discuss in detail with you any previous treatments you have had. They may also talk with you about different treatments you could try, or they may suggest a treatment that you have already tried if there is a reason that could explain why it did not work before.
Your specialist team should develop a ‘care plan’ with you so that you can receive the treatment and support that is most appropriate for you. It should identify the professionals who are responsible for different aspects of your treatment and care. You and your GP should be given a copy of the plan. The plan should include what should happen in a crisis .
If you have severe depression and you and your healthcare professional feel that you are likely to harm yourself or you are finding it difficult to look after yourself, you may be advised to have treatment in hospital. If you need to stay in hospital for treatment, you should be offered the full range of psychological treatments . Your healthcare professional should make sure that you can continue with the treatment once you leave hospital.
Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
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How Can I Cope With Persistent Depressive Disorder
In addition to taking medication and going to therapy, consider doing things you enjoy, such as:
- Do something nice for someone else.
- Go to a movie, a show or a ballgame.
- Hang out with people who have positive attitudes.
- Paint, or try some arts and crafts.
- Spend time outside.
- Spend time with friends, in person or on the phone.
- Take a yoga class, learn to meditate, or walk with a friend.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
PDD can make you feel sad or down most of the day, most days, over a long period of time. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have depressive symptoms. Medication, counseling and healthy lifestyle choices can make you feel better. If you feel like you might hurt yourself or someone else, seek help immediately. Youre not alone.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/08/2021.
Diagnosis Of Minor Depressive Disorder
Given how common milder forms of depression are, and the problems inherent in defining a threshold of clinical importance because of the diagnostic system differences and the lack of any natural discontinuity identifying a critical threshold , the guideline update, and by extension this guideline, has broadened its scope to include depression that is subthreshold, that is, does not meet the full criteria for a depressive/major depressive episode. A further reason is that subthreshold depression has been increasingly recognised as causing considerable morbidity and human and economic costs, is more common in those with a history of major depression and is a risk factor for future major depression .
Both DSMIV and ICD10 do have the category of dysthymia, which consists of depressive symptoms which are subthreshold for major depression but which persist . There appears to be no empirical evidence that dysthymia is distinct from minor depression apart from duration of symptoms.
ICD10 has a category of mixed anxiety and depression, which is less clearly defined than minor depression, and is largely a diagnosis of exclusion in those with anxiety and depressive symptoms subthreshold for specific disorders. Not unexpectedly it appears to be a heterogeneous category with a lack of diagnostic stability over time . For this reason it has not been included in this guideline.
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How Is Dysthymia Treated
While dysthymia is a serious illness, itâs also very treatable. As with any chronic illness, early diagnosis and medical treatment may reduce the intensity and duration of symptoms and also reduce the likelihood of developing an episode of major depression.
To treat dysthymia, doctors may use psychotherapy , medications such as antidepressants, or a combination of these therapies. Often, dysthymia can be treated by a primary care physician.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
There are some alternative remedies that may be helpful for some people who have mild to moderate depression. St. John’s wort, for example, is one herbal supplement that is sometimes used to help alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression. While the supplement is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression, some research suggests that it may help reduce symptoms.
Because St. John’s wort affects serotonin levels in the brain, it can lead to a serious condition known as serotonin syndrome. It can also interact with other medications, including antidepressants. You should always talk to your doctor before trying any complementary treatment such as St. John’s wort.
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How Is Dysthymia Diagnosed
A mental health specialist generally makes the diagnosis based on the person’s symptoms. In the case of dysthymia, these symptoms will have lasted for a longer period of time and be less severe than in patients with major depression.
With dysthymia, your doctor will want to make sure that the symptoms are not a result of a physical condition, such as hypothyroidism.
If you are depressed and have had depressive symptoms for more than two weeks, see your doctor or a psychiatrist. Your provider will perform a thorough medical evaluation, paying particular attention to your personal and family psychiatric history.
There is no blood, X-ray or other laboratory test that can be used to diagnose dysthymia.
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
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Other Types Of Depression
There are different types of depression, and some conditions where depression may be one of the symptoms. These include:
- postnatal depression sometimes new mothers, fathers or partners develop depression after they have a baby this is known as postnatal depression and it’s treated in a similar way to other types of depression, with talking therapies and antidepressant medicines
- bipolar disorder also known as “manic depression”, in bipolar disorder there are spells of both depression and excessively high mood the depression symptoms are similar to clinical depression, but the bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour, such as gambling, going on spending sprees and having unsafe sex
- seasonal affective disorder also known as “winter depression”, SAD is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern usually related to winter
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dysthymia
The symptoms of dysthymia are the same as those of major depression but fewer in number and not as intense. They include the following:
- 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
- Being physically restless or rundown in a way that is noticeable by others
- 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 Persistent Depressive Disorder Diagnosed
If you think you have PDD, talk to a healthcare provider. There are no tests for chronic depression, so the diagnosis comes from discussions with a provider. The provider might ask:
- Do you feel sad a lot?
- Are there particular reasons you feel down?
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Do you have trouble concentrating?
- Are you taking any medications?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Are the symptoms there all the time, or do they come and go?
Your healthcare provider may order blood or urine tests to rule out other causes. The healthcare provider also might refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist to talk about your symptoms. These providers are specially trained to discuss mental health.
Appearance Of Patient Suffering From Moderate Depression
The patient’s appearance is characteristic. dress and grooming may be neglected. The facial features are characterized by a turning downwards of the corners of the mouth and by vertical furrowing of the center of the brow. The rate of blinking may be reduced. The shoulders are bent and the head is inclined forward so that the direction of the gaze is downwards. Gestural movements are reduced. It is important to note that some patients maintain a smiling exterior despite deep feelings of depression.
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How Is Mild Depression Diagnosed
Its not easy to determine when a person is suffering from dysthymia. There is no blood test or imaging scan that give doctors a definitive clue that the patient has mild depression. The presence of co-occurring disorder can also make getting an accurate diagnosis more difficult. When it comes to diagnosing any depressive disorder, including mild depression, clinicians go by symptoms. The doctor will make a diagnosis based on the length of time symptoms have been present, and also based on whether or not the symptoms are less severe than those present in major clinical depression. Also, doctors must rule-out physical disorders that can mimic the symptoms of mild depression. Those often include hypothyroidism, diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Usually, blood and urine tests can rule out these conditions.
Research provides professionals with evidence about what works for treating PDD. According to a recent report that reviewed three different studies, a combination of medication and therapy is more effective than medication or therapy on its own for treating PDD. Medication can help to correct some of the chemical imbalances in the brain that can lead to depression, whereas therapy provides an opportunity for people to develop coping skills and healthy ways of responding to stress and learn how to manage symptoms of depression.