- Depressive symptoms:
Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Depressive symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.
Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:
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Why: to determine if acute or chronic.
Why: e.g. depressed mood, crying spells, anhedonia (loss of interest or pleasure), increase or decrease in appetite (usually decreased), weight loss or gain, insomnia or increased sleeping (usually early morning waking), fatigue, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of excessive guilt, poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, low libido, thoughts of death or suicide attempt.
Why: may assist in determining the type of depression that you have e.g. with endogenous depression you usually feel worse on waking in the morning; postnatal depression usually feel worse at end of day.
Why: it is important for the doctor to know if you are a suicide risk.
Why: e.g. severe loss, such as the death of a loved one, marital separation or financial loss. Note that depression may develop for no apparent reason.
Why: questions specifically about relationship, family, children, social support, occupation, general physical health and financial stresses.
Why: may help determine the severity of depression.
Why: e.g. psychotherapy, antidepressants or electroconvulsive therapy.
Why: depression that has its onset within 3 months, and possibly up to 6 months following childbirth.
Why: e.g. depression can have bizarre features in the elderly and may be misdiagnosed as dementia or psychosis. Agitated depression is the most frequent type of depression in the elderly. Other symptoms in the elderly may include histrionic behavior, delusions and disordered thinking.
Why: medical illness is an important precipitant of depression, especially in the elderly. Depression with chronic fatigue syndrome may follow an illness such as glandular fever or influenza or may follow an operation or childbirth.
Why: some medications may increase the risk of depression e.g. beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson drugs, corticosteroids, anti-cancer drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, combined oral contraceptive pill, progesterone-only contraceptives.
Why: may help in determining whether alcoholism is the cause of depression.
Why: may cause depression.
Why: depression tends to run in families.
Why: e.g. episodes of depression (often psychotic in intensity) and at other times episodes of psychotic excitement (mania or hypomania). Symptoms of psychotic excitement may include elevation of mood, increased activity, grandiose ideas, irritability, disinhibition (which affects social, sexual and financial behavior), rapid speech and racing thought, delusions (persecutory or grandiose) and sometimes hallucinations.
Why: e.g. nervousness, shakiness, tremor, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, heart palpitations, racing heart, sweating, dizziness, diarrhea, lump in throat and frequency of urination - anxiety and depression are very closely related and may co-exist, however anxiety may mask an underlying depression.
Why: e.g. hallucinations, delusions, disordered thought - may assist in differentiating schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder from depression but people with severe psychotic depression may also experience these symptoms, especially delusions. Note that patients with schizophrenia may also develop pronounced depressive symptoms.
Why: e.g. headache, dementia, seizures, stroke-like symptoms - a brain tumor may present with depression.
Why: e.g. weight gain especially central abdominal, change of appearance, moon-like face, thin skin, easy bruising, excessive facial hair growth, acne, muscle weakness, lack of or rare menstrual periods, poor libido, psychosis, insomnia, frequent urination, excessive thirst - Cushing's syndrome may also present with depression.
Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair - Hypothyroidism may also present with depression.
Why: e.g. loose bowel motions, intolerance to heat, sweating of hands, muscle weakness, increased appetite, weight loss, heart palpitations, emotional lability - Hyperthyroidism may also present with depression.
Why: e.g. hot flushes, night sweats, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, dry vaginal, dry skin, headaches - Menopause may also present with depression.
Why: e.g. impaired memory, impaired judgement and thinking, impaired verbal fluency and impaired ability to perform complex tasks. Personality may change, impulse control may be lost and personal care deteriorates. People with dementia may also have psychiatric symptoms such as delusions, paranoid ideas, hallucinations, mood disturbance and behavioral disturbance - Dementia may be confused with depression.
Why: e.g. headache, constipation, indigestion, weight loss, dry mouth, unusual pains or sensations in the chest and abdomen - not uncommonly occur with depression and tend to mask a diagnosis of depression. Depression can be associated with many illnesses but it is important to realize that these somatic symptoms may be the presentation of depressive illness.
The following list of conditions have 'Depressive symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Depressive symptoms or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have 'Depressive symptoms'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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