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Depressive symptoms Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

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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  1. How long have you had depressive symptoms?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. What symptoms of depression do you have?

    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.

  3. What time of the day do you feel worse?

    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.

  4. Has the thought of hurting yourself or ending your life occurred to you?

    Why: it is important for the doctor to know if you are a suicide risk.

  5. Can you think of any reason why you feel like this?

    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.

  6. Do you feel that you are coping well?
  7. Has anything changed in your life?
  8. What are your stressors at the moment?

    Why: questions specifically about relationship, family, children, social support, occupation, general physical health and financial stresses.

  9. Where would you put yourself between 0 and 100%?

    Why: may help determine the severity of depression.

  10. Have you had previous episodes of depressive symptoms in your life?
  11. If you have had previous episodes of depression, what treatment , if any have you received?

    Why: e.g. psychotherapy, antidepressants or electroconvulsive therapy.

  12. If you have had children, have you suffered from postnatal depression?

    Why: depression that has its onset within 3 months, and possibly up to 6 months following childbirth.

  13. What is the age of the patient?

    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.

  14. Recent medical history?

    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.

  15. Medications?

    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.

  16. Alcohol history?

    Why: may help in determining whether alcoholism is the cause of depression.

  17. Illicit drug use?

    Why: may cause depression.

  18. Family history?

    Why: depression tends to run in families.

  19. Symptoms of Manic-depression?

    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.

  20. Symptoms of anxiety?

    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.

  21. Psychotic symptoms?

    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.

  22. Symptoms of brain tumor?

    Why: e.g. headache, dementia, seizures, stroke-like symptoms - a brain tumor may present with depression.

  23. Symptoms of Cushing's syndrome

    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.

  24. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair - Hypothyroidism may also present with depression.

  25. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

    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.

  26. Symptoms of menopause?

    Why: e.g. hot flushes, night sweats, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, dry vaginal, dry skin, headaches - Menopause may also present with depression.

  27. Symptoms of dementia?

    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.

  28. Range of somatic (physical) symptoms?

    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.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Depressive symptoms:

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.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Depressive symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Depressive symptoms' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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