How Long Does It Take To Diagnose Depression
It can take weeks after depression begins before it is diagnosed. This is partly because people may be resistant to ask for help, 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.
When a primary care doctor is looking into whether a person is depressed, they may initially think the symptoms could be caused by a physical illness, Nydegger explains. Often, a primary care doctor may be looking at the persons medications or whether something is going on physiologically, he says. They are trying to rule out medical causes as the reason for the symptoms, which is appropriate, but then it can take longer to get a diagnosis.
What Is A Clinical Depression Test
A test for clinical depression helps provide a better understanding of the scope and impact of your depressed mood. The test includes a scale on which to grade various depression symptoms. Your provider will determine your total score, and the total score combined with a clinical interview determines your diagnosis.
Type : Major Depression
To speak of a diagnosis of ‘major depression’ 5-9 symptoms of depression must be present. This type of depression, too, is very common. This is maybe one of the less well-known types of depression, but it does still occur. Research shows that more than 17% of the population of the Earth will suffer from a major depression at some point in their lives .
The symptoms which must be present for this type of depression are the standard symptoms that we speak of when talking about depression. These symptoms of depression can be found in the section on symptoms of depression or in the main article on depression.
When speaking of major depression, the recognized depression symptoms occur in one period, for at least two weeks at a time. A major depression thus is a one-time period, which can take between several weeks up to possibly years. If there are several episodes, we speak of other types of depression.
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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.
Who Can Diagnose Depression
Primary care providers often diagnose depression. They may refer an individual to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment. Typically, says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, the provider uses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to make a diagnosis.3 They go through the criteria in the DSM to see how many criteria the person meets, Hollon says.
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
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About Your Mental Health
So How Do I Find Out What I Have
Sometimes people are able to get a pretty good sense of what condition they might have just from reading about it online and talking to other people who have had similar experiences. But its also easy to get carried away. Ever use WebMD to check your physical symptoms and come away thinking you must have some rare disease? Mental illness can be the same way.
A good starting point is to take a mental health screen online. The screening tools on this site are the same ones used in a lot of doctors offices. Theyre scientifically validated, and much more accurate than just reading about something and making a guess. You can use your results to start a conversation with your friends or family, or use them to monitor your progress over time.
Eventually, if you want to be officially diagnosed with a mental illness, youll need to meet with a doctor or a therapist. Theyll ask you some questions and use their training and experience to determine whether your symptoms match with a particular mental illness. If you can, try to meet with someone who specializes in mental health, like a psychiatrist or a therapist. But your regular family doctor can diagnose common conditions like depression and anxiety. They can also help refer you to a specialist.
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Scoring The Anxiety Disorder Test
The more times you answered yes on the anxiety disorder quiz, the more likely it is you may suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Sections one and two of the anxiety disorder test are designed to indicate an anxiety disorder, while sections three and four screen for conditions that may complicate anxiety disorders – such asdepression or substance use.
If you answered mostly yes in any one section, or in the anxiety disorder quiz overall, you should print this page with your answers and discuss them with a mental health or healthcare professional.
Remember, only a trained, mental health professional like your family doctor, a psychiatrist or psychologist can diagnose a mental illness.
How Does A Doctor Make A Depression Diagnosis
We’ve gotten used to doctors using special blood tests or other complex laboratory tests to help them make a conclusive diagnosis. But most lab tests arenât very helpful when it comes to diagnosing depression. In fact, talking with the patient may be the most important diagnostic tool the doctor has. The recommendation is that doctors routinely screen everyone for depression. This screening might take place during a visit for a chronic illness, at an annual wellness visit, or during a pregnancy or postpartum visit.
To effectively diagnose and treat depression, the doctor must hear about specific symptoms of depression. They may use a series of standard questions to screen for depression. While a physical examination will reveal a patient’s overall state of health, by talking with a patient, a doctor can learn about other things that are relevant to making a depression diagnosis. A patient, for example, can report on such things as daily moods, behaviors, and lifestyle habits.
A depression diagnosis is often difficult to make because clinical depression can show up in so many different ways. For example, some clinically depressed people seem to withdraw into a state of apathy. Others may become irritable or even agitated. Eating and sleeping patterns can be exaggerated. Clinical depression may cause someone to sleep or eat to excess, or almost eliminate those activities.
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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.
Who Is This Depression Quiz For
Below is a list of 10 questions designed to help you determine if you might be experiencing depression. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have depression. Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few weeks.
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Type : Chronic Depression
In the case of chronic depression, the symptoms of depression occur several times. This means that you have more than one depressive period as opposed to major depression. This type of depression, too, is under the general types of depression. Chronic depression is a less well-known type of depression because most known types of depression only occur once.
For this type of depression, too, you can refer to the standard symptoms of depression.
In between the depressed episodes, there must be intervals of at least two months. During these two months, you may not experience depressive symptoms, because otherwise, one speaks of constant depression. A chronic depression, on the other hand, is characterized by a period where you do not experience depressive symptoms. After these two months, you can then once again experience a depressed period with its matching symptoms.
Do I Need To Put A Label On It
You dont have to have a diagnosis in order to seek help. Some therapists actually prefer not to diagnose their clients. And even people who dont have a mental illness can benefit from therapy or other mental health treatments. The most important thing is just recognizing that you are going through something and that you could use some help.
Still, it can be nice to have a name for what youre going through. Labels are there to help you, not to limit you or put you in a box. Finding the right diagnosis can help you:
- Find helpful information online
- Connect with other people who have had similar experiences
- Get the right kind of treatment
For example, if you know you have bipolar disorder, you can Google bipolar disorder and find lots of information about it. There are online forums where people talk about bipolar disorder specifically. And there are certain meds that work for bipolar disorder but not for other mental illnesses like anxiety or depression.
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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.
Learn More About Depression
Depression can make you feel alone but you have lots of company. Major depressive disorder , the clinical term for depression, is one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting an estimated 350 million people in all age groups. You should know that depression isnt the same as being sad. Its normal to feel blue or unmotivated from time to time, but depression is more constant. And, it has a real, biological basis.
Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.
The above quiz is based on the Patient Health Questionnaire . If you think you may be suffering from Depression and/or you are experiencing a mental health crisis, we strongly suggest that you reach out to to a qualified mental health professional. To aid in your search please consider our directory of emergency mental health resources.
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What Do The Results Mean
If you are diagnosed with depression, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you get treatment, the better chance you have of recovery. Treatment for depression may take a long time, but most people who get treated eventually feel better.
If your primary care provider diagnosed you, he or she may refer you to a mental health provider. If a mental health provider diagnosed you, he or she will recommend a treatment plan based on the type of depression you have and how serious it is.
The Different Types Of Depression
Depression is classified in a number of ways. The types of depression that this test looks for are: major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia , dysthymia , postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Each one presents different symptoms and represents a distinct diagnosis. You can learn more about each of these types of depression after you take the test and get your results. Please note that other variants of depression exist which are not tested for on this web site.
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Why Am I Depressed
Do you know the true meaning of depression? As mentioned, we may not feel well some days and want to be alone, which disappears after a few days. Maybe you dont know the reason for this fatigue, and you keep asking why Im depressed? This condition can have various causes, such as fatigue, negative thoughts, and menstruation in women.
Sometimes my friends ask me, Am I depressed or lazy? This is an interesting question because many people dont know the difference between them and typically want to say that Im unhappy. But there is a big difference between these two.
Laziness is a disgusting morality that usually people are not able to do anything and would like someone else to do it for them. But depression is a mental disorder that, in any way, affects a persons life.
Diagnosing Depression And The Physical Exam
Again, the goal with a physical exam is usually to rule out another medical cause for depression. When performing the physical exam, the doctor may focus primarily on the neurological and endocrine systems. The doctor will try to identify any major health concerns that may be contributing to symptoms of clinical depression. For example, hypothyroidism — caused by an underactive thyroid gland — is the most common medical condition associated with depressive symptoms. Other endocrine disorders associated with depression include hyperthyroidism — caused by an overactive thyroid — and Cushing’s disease — a disorder of the adrenal gland.
Many central nervous system illnesses and injuries can also lead to depression. For example, depression might be associated with any of the following conditions:
- Central nervous system tumors
Corticosteroid medications such as prednisone, which people take for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or asthma, are also associated with depression. Other drugs, including illegal steroids, excessive alcohol use,Ã and amphetamines and over-the-counter appetite suppressants, may cause depression on withdrawal.Ã
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Hamilton Rating Scale For Depression
The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is a multiple item questionnaire used to identify depression and to evaluate recovery. Its designed for adults and is used to rate the severity of a persons depression by evaluating their mood, feelings of guilt, suicidal ideation, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, and somatic symptoms.
Type : Minor Depression
To speak of a diagnosis ‘minor depression’, at least two of the depression symptoms must be present. This is one of the most common types of depression. Minor depression is a depression on a low-level. It is called depression, but it is less severe than other types of depression.
The symptoms of depression which must be present in this type, are the standard symptoms of depression. These symptoms can be found under the section symptoms of depression, or in the main article on depression.
The maximum amount of depression symptoms present in this type of depression are 4 symptoms. If this criterion is surpassed, we are speaking of more severe types of depression. A minor depression thus is a light type of depression, because it only includes a limited amount of depression symptoms.
This does not mean that the subjective suffering of the person is less or that it should not be treated. Even though this is a lighter type of depression, the suffering, and depression symptoms can effectively be treated. The lighter the symptoms are and the quicker treatment is sought, the effects of this treatment will be seen more quickly.
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