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Diagnostic Tests for Depression

Diagnostic tests for Depression:

There is no specific test to diagnose depression. Diagnosing depression includes completing a complete family, medical, and mental health history. This also includes a history of alcohol and drug use. It is very important to be as accurate as possible in describing a history of alcohol and drug use. Your health care provider will also evaluate your symptoms and order medical tests to rule-out other causes of symptoms or determine coexisting conditions. A referral is generally made to a mental health professional for further evaluation. A mental health care professional will determine the type and severity of depression you have and work with you to develop the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for you. In general, the sooner that the symptoms of depression are recognized and treated, the more effective treatment will be.

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Depression:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Depression:

Depression: NIMH (Excerpt)

The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective.

Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness. (Source: excerpt from Depression: NIMH)

The Invisible Disease Depression: NIMH (Excerpt)

Symptoms of depression include sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, change in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, physical slowing or agitation, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. A diagnosis of major depressive disorder is made if a person has 5 or more of these symptoms and impairment in usual functioning nearly every day during the same two-week period. (Source: excerpt from The Invisible Disease Depression: NIMH)

Diagnosis of Depression: medical news summaries:

The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Depression:


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