These days depression has become a part of life for almost everyone in this world. But it is important to know that Feeling sad or little low may not be always considered as clinical depression. Clinical depression will be diagnosed for a person, only when he or she strongly experiences the symptoms of depression for a considerably longer duration of time. If you want to learn more on depression, then go through my previous article “What is Depression”. In this article, I am going to discuss the signs and tests for depression.
Signs of Depression
Sign of depression can be a single symptom or can be a combination of many. This is what makes the diagnosis more challenging. At times, it becomes very difficult to identify the exact cause of depression by studying these confusing signs. The common signs of depression are described here:
- Feeling desperate: a sense of desperation or pessimism – thought like the situation is not going to improve or it will turn worse in days to come.
- Losing interest: nothing seems to be interesting in the regular life – even favorite pastimes, hobbies, social life and sexual life; become monotonous and uninteresting.
- Loss of appetite: not interested to food, even earlier favorite dishes are also unable to increase the appetite. As a result, a significant change in body weight is noticed.
- Abnormal sleep behavior: excessive sleeping or hypersomnia or difficulty in sleeping or insomnia – are noticed.
- Irritation: mood swings often leading to irritating behavior, restlessness, agitation or intolerance. Everything or every person around you seems to be intolerable.
- Fatigue: feeling terribly tired and exhausted; even a small task becomes difficult to complete on time.
- Feeling of guilt: a strong sense of guilt or being unworthy for the world. In acute condition, this might lead to suicidal attempts.
- Difficulty in concentrating: it becomes truly difficult to concentrate on certain task or to decide on something. It can even contribute to forgetfulness.
- Unresolved physical problems: frequent complaining on physical discomforts like abdominal pain, back pain, muscle aches or headache.
Diagnostic Tests for Depression
Considering the above symptoms, how do you know, whether you really require a medical counseling in this regard or not? As such, there is no specific diagnostic test for depression, though there are several assessments and rating scales that assist in arriving at a diagnosis. These assessments tested for the appropriate psycho-metric properties to ensure that they are reliable and valid. Below are links to common depression assessment Here are some assessments and ratings scales that you could look into
- Goldberg Depression Questionnaire
- Another resource for Goldberg Depression Assessment
- Depression Screening Test on Mayo Clinic
- Wakefield Depression Test
Psychiatrists use these assessments along with the symptoms and behaviors of the patient including their background, family life, social life, professional life, before concluding on the diagnosis.
Depression can be treated through proper medications and counseling sessions. Certain relaxation techniques also help in reducing depression.
Several clinical trials are being worked on to investigate the outcomes of newly discovered medicines in this area. If you are interested to learn more about the clinical trials, then visit the following links:
- What is Depression (Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments and Clinical Trials)
- Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg and Bette Midler experienced hot flashes for menopause just like all women.
- Clinical Trial of an Investigational Blood Test for Depression
- Feeling Depressed? Depression Clinical Trial in Sherman Oaks, CA (West San Fernando Valley)
- List of Clinical Trials for Depression (and Related Mental Health Conditions)