Categorized | Depression

2 Minute Self Diagnosis Depression Test

Depression Test

If there was just a simple depression test you could take in order to figure out whether or not you’re depressed. It would be nice to go in, have some blood taken and get your results back the following week, but it doesn’t exactly work like that. Depression is a mental illness that is taking over many people …

Depression Isn’t Uncommon

Recent years have seen a shift in the consciousness surrounding mental health. People have become more aware of the different issues regarding mental illness, and have become more attuned to the presence of these illnesses in society. Though stigma hasn’t completely been eradicated, rising levels of acceptance have come to the forefront to battle the negative effects of discrimination and ridicule.
In light of the rising rates of mental illness sweeping the globe, it’s vital that we educate ourselves and make ourselves aware of the struggles many people have begun to face in order to be able to help those who are too afraid to speak out about their experiences.
These days, it is no longer uncommon to know someone, be related to someone, or to be someone struggling with depression. Knowledge about the condition is extremely important in helping yourself and others cope with and recover from the condition.

What is Depression?

In the past, it was enough for people to chalk depression up to hormones, or to describe it simply as being sad. Today, however, these simplistic ideas about the condition aren’t nearly enough anymore. Misconceptions regarding the condition can actually be harmful, so we always need to be cautious when faced with different ideas presented as the “truth” particularly exaggerated representations of mental illness that are prevalent in popular culture.
Life can be difficult, and we all go through different challenges that can make us feel down or sad. We aren’t always going to be happy, and that’s completely normal. Feeling upset because of the different problems life present isn’t depression. But, if this sadness persists day after day, week after or week, or even months on end, then depression may actually be at play.

How Do They Diagnose Depression?

Since there is no depression test, exactly how do they diagnose depression? Depression is officially described as sadness or low mood levels lasting for at least two weeks, accompanied by other distinct symptoms.
Further, depression is much more severe than having the blues; the condition is disruptive and can impede an individual from performing daily tasks and activities.
There are different diagnostic parameters, all of which can be found in a manual (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) used by mental health professionals to diagnose different mental illnesses.
In the DSM-IV, depression is said to be present when the individual experiences at least 5 of the following symptoms:

• Low moods, at least (especially in the morning)
• Persistent fatigue
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt on almost a daily basis
• Difficulties in concentration, sleep (lack of sleep or sleeping excessively), and decision making
• Lack of interest and pleasure in activities an individual used to find interesting (on almost a daily basis)
• Suicidal thoughts or engaging in risky behavior that is destructive/life-threatening
• Restlessness/Laziness
• Significant weight changes (loss or gain)

The manual also states that aside from these symptoms being present, these must not be caused by any ingested medicine, substance, or physical illness.
Further, when these symptoms occur within two months of losing a loved one, they are not considered indications of depression but rather normal reactions to a tragic event.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, unlike most illnesses, depression can’t be diagnosed by specialized blood or laboratory tests. Therefore, mental health care professionals have developed ways to diagnose the conditions via in-depth interviews and written tests. Interviews are considered the most useful tool for diagnosis, given that these give the psychiatrist great insight into the patient’s state of health, their specific experiences involving the symptoms of the condition, their personality, and other relevant details. Furthermore, there are many things that can be revealed during an interview that won’t come out on a test; like verbal reports on a patient’s daily moods, routines, and lifestyle.

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