Getting An Appropriate Depression Diagnosis

Learn how I beat Depression

A depression diagnosis is only given after a thorough evaluation.  Your doctor must make sure that your primary diagnosis really is that of depression.  A diagnosis of depression can be difficult to make for several reasons, but by using targeted questions and a comprehensive list of symptoms, your doctor will be able to tell you if you merit this diagnosis.

The Difficulty

Depression can be difficult to diagnose.  Depression can manifest in many different ways with different symptoms.  This can make it hard on any doctor to diagnose because the doctor must make an appraisal based on the information available.  Other disorders can have symptoms of depression or may have depression as an aspect of the disorder but not as the entire disorder.

Bipolar disorder, for example, has a depressive element but also has a manic element.  A doctor could easily see a patient with bipolar disorder in the depressive phase and incorrectly diagnose that patient with depression.  This makes diagnosing a patient more complicated.

The Questions

Your doctor, aside from running tests to evaluate for a physical component of the depression, will ask you a series of questions.  This list of questions will include what symptoms you have had, when they began and how long you have had them, and possibly any recent major life events.

These symptoms may be physical or emotional in nature and all can help to guide your doctor toward the correct diagnosis.  The questioning will then proceed to any treatments that you have received for these symptoms.  Any family history of depression will probably be on the list of questions too.  This can all be useful information in making a diagnosis.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that your doctor will be looking for are persistent sadness, a loss of interest in usual activities, and loss of energy.  Feelings that often accompany depression are worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt.  Changes in eating patterns or weight could also be present.

Memory problems and problems with concentration are symptoms of depression that have consequences for patients specifically in work and school settings.  Sleep disturbances may be present as well.  These symptoms are often disabling and affect the very quality of a person’s life.

Making a diagnosis when depression is suspected can be a painstaking process, but it is necessary to be thorough to make sure the determination is accurate.  By asking the right questions, knowing the symptoms, and ruling out a similar but incorrect conditions, your doctor can tell you if you warrant a diagnosis of depression.

Learn how I beat Depression

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