The A – Z Guide Of Diagnosing a Depression

According to the WHO, more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from various kinds of depression. Unfortunately, only a few of them know the real symptoms of this disease. Read more about them below to recognize the symptoms of depression on time.

Unipolar Depression: Definition

Depression is a mental disorder characterized by a depressive triad, which includes low mood (loss of the ability to feel joy), thinking disorders (pessimism, negative judgments), and slow motor energy. As a rule, this problem is accompanied by low self-esteem and a lack of interest in everyday activities. In some cases, a person may abuse alcohol and other psychotropic substances.

Feeling Worthless and Tired of Life

Patients may perceive the disease as a manifestation of laziness and bad temper, selfishness, and pessimism. They typically feel worthless. However, depression is not only a bad mood but an illness that requires professional assistance. The earlier an accurate diagnosis is set, and treatment is started, the more likely it will be successful. 

This disease is widespread among people of all ages. According to statistics, 10% of people over 40 suffer from depressive disorders. It’s important to note that wo-thirds of them are women. Besides, people over 65 years old are three times more likely to have this mental illness. Also, 5% of adolescents and children suffer from depression.  In addition, 40% of adolescents under 15 have a high suicide rate.

Typical Depression Symptoms

The symptoms of depression can be divided into main and additional ones. As a rule, the disease is diagnosed by two primary symptoms and three additional ones. The central depression symptoms are represented by low mood, which lasts for two weeks or longer. It does not depend on external circumstances. Furthermore, bad mood is accompanied by continuous fatigue and a loss of interest from usually engaging activities.

The additional depression symptoms are pessimism, guilt, anxiety, and fears. Usually, people cannot focus on things and make decisions. They have very low self-esteem and think of suicides in particular and death in general. Patients often do not have an appetite and complain about insomnia or oversleeping. As for childhood depression, according to statistics, it is much less common than an adult one. 

Diagnosing a Depression

Mental health professional set a diagnose of this condition based on:

– Physical examination.

– Lab tests.

– Psychiatric assessment.

– The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria.

Diagnosing a Depression

Zang Scale

It is one of the most popular methods of depression diagnosing. It can identify four degrees of disease severity: normal, mild, moderate, and severe.

Self-assessment by Hans Jürgen Eysenck

This method includes testing for four key parameters that can be distinguished at a depressed person. They are anxiety, frustration, aggression, and inflexibility.

Beck Depression Inventory

The advantages of this questionnaire are its high internal consistency, high content validity, validity in differentiating between depressed and nondepressed subjects, and sensitivity to change. All these tests are available online. However, you need to remember that self-diagnosis and self-treatment are not the best ways to beat depression. It is strongly recommended to consult a specialist. 

If depression is not treated, its various forms can last for years. In most cases, it is impossible to solve a problem on your own. To get an effective treatment, you should turn to a specialist as early as possible.

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