Depression Test

Depression Test

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Depression is a medical condition that impacts a person’s mood and ability to function. It can cause loss of interest and feelings of sadness. The activities that were once enjoyed by a person become meaningless. If left untreated it can lead to serious physical and emotional problems, making it impossible for an individual to function in professional and domestic life. 




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Difference Between Depression and Sadness/Grief

Depression
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Depression often goes untreated because people consider it the same as grief. It’s not possible to have treatment without a proper diagnosis. Understanding the difference between sadness or grief and depression is a crucial first step to getting rid of it. 

A person goes through a lot of difficult moments in life like losing a loved one or not getting a dream job, etc. Sadness during these moments is perfectly normal.  

When a person experiences grief, the feeling comes in waves, and there is often a hint of positive memories even in the sad moments. In depression, the feeling of helplessness and sadness can linger for weeks and decrease a person’s interest in daily activities. 

Grief does not have any impact on an individual’s self-esteem but in major depression, the feelings of worthlessness take over and can often lead to self-loathing. 

In depression, people often contemplate a lot about death as it seems like the best escape from the misery they feel. The thought of meeting their dead loved ones is more welcoming than living. Life and everything it has to offer becomes worthless to a person suffering from depression 

Depression and grief can co-occur. In this case, the severity of grief is high and it also lasts for a longer period. 

Distinguishing between depression and grief makes it easier for people to choose the most suitable and effective treatment method. 

 

What Are the Risk Factors for Depression?

Depression is pretty common and can even affect people who are living a happy life. Multiple factors play an important role in creating depression in one’s life such as: 

  • Biochemistry can sometimes be the reason behind one’s depressed mood. 
  • Depression is a genetic illness as well. If one of the identical twins is suffering from it, there is a 70% chance that the other one will have the same feelings. 
  • The type of personality can also be a factor in causing depression. A personality with low self-esteem has difficulty handling stress and can easily get overwhelmed. Our website has the best and most reliable personality tests available. The personality test can help in identifying whether pessimistic traits are dominant in your personality or not. The information is valuable as it tells you about your vulnerability to depression.  
  • If a person is continuously exposed to neglect, violence, and abuse, they become vulnerable to depression. 

 

Types of Depression 

Anxiety Test
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Depression is divided into different types based on the different causes and symptoms. Sometimes the depression episodes don’t have an obvious reason and can linger for a long time without any reason. 

Some of the depression types defined by healthcare providers are as follows:

 

Bipolar depression 

Bipolar disorder causes alternating periods of extremely high energy and low mood. People with this disorder either feel so down that they lose interest in everything or they go through manic episodes. During the low period, they suffer from hopelessness, have no energy, and fall into a rabbit hole of sadness. 

 

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 

MDD or clinical depression comes with intense feelings of sadness and its symptoms can stay for more than two weeks. Clinical depression impacts a person’s life by making it hard to even handle daily activities. 

 

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

PDD or dysthymia has the same symptoms as major depression but the intensity of the symptoms is less severe. The symptoms can stay with a person for two or more years. 

 

Perinatal and postpartum depression 

Perinatal or postpartum depression is related to the down feelings women may experience during pregnancy. It can appear during and up to a year after giving birth. The symptoms are much more intense than “the baby blues” and can lead to minor stress, anxiety, and worry.

 

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

The days or weeks leading up to the monthly menstrual period can be pretty tough. Sometimes it’s so tough that it can take the form of depression. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD or seasonal depression usually occurs in the early winter or late fall. It is a seasonal thing and usually goes away with the arrival of spring and summer. 

 

Psychotic depression 

People with psychotic depression display severe depression symptoms. They can also experience hallucinations or delusions. They may develop strong beliefs in things that are not real or start seeing, feeling, or hearing things just in their imagination.

 

Diagnosing Depression

Depression types
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Feeling down from time to time is not unusual. It’s natural to be sad about things you lose or situations that don’t go your way. However, when the symptoms are more aggressive than the usual sadness and start interfering with your daily life then it classifies as depression. 

 

Depression test

Diagnosing depression can be tricky because it seldom has any physical symptoms. Depression tests are an effective way of making a reliable diagnosis. The depression test usually contains multiple-choice questions. The questions help determine the level of depression a person is facing. 




Physical exam

Sometimes a physical exam is also conducted to make a reliable diagnosis and choose the best treatment method. The purpose of a physical exam is to ensure that the symptoms are not because of some physical illness. During the exam, the doctor focuses on endocrine and neurological systems and tries to identify any major health concerns that may be causing symptoms similar to clinical depression. 

There are several nervous system injuries and illnesses that can lead to depression like head trauma, stroke, central nervous system tumors, multiple sclerosis, cancers, and syphilis.

 

Lab tests

Doctors often demand lab tests to get a proper diagnosis. The lab tests include a blood test which is to check for possible medical conditions that might lead to symptoms of depression. Blood tests tell whether a person is suffering from thyroid or anemia or some other hormonal imbalance. 

 

Other testing methods

Some other standardized tests are an essential part of the initial physical exam. These tests include tests to check liver and kidney function, electrolytes, and toxicology screening. If the kidneys and liver are not working correctly, they fail to eliminate the depression medication and it ends up accumulating in the body. 

The doctor may also order an MRI or a CT scan to dismiss the possibility of illnesses like a brain tumor. An ECG is done to rule out heart problems, and EEG to check the brain’s electrical activity. 

 

Screening tests

The questions asked by the doctors are specific for screening for depression. It offers a better insight into a person’s mood and they can use the information to make a confident diagnosis. 

There are a variety of screening instruments that doctors use to diagnose depression. Some common instruments are:

The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)

It’s a 9-item self-administered screening tool that checks the severity of depression based on the current criteria of diagnosis. 

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

The 21-question screening tool measures the severity of symptoms.  

Zung self-rating depression scale 

The test is in the form of a short survey that checks the depression level of an individual.  

Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) 

It’s a tool that patients can use to evaluate their behavior, feelings, and outlook.  

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) 

HRSD is a questionnaire containing multiple-choice questions and it’s used by doctors to determine the severity of depression. 

 

Treatment Methods 

Depression tests
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Diagnosing depression is the first step to addressing the problem and starting on a road to a healthier life. Depression is treatable and it’s possible to get rid of the feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness. 

After making the diagnosis, the doctor can recommend the most suitable treatment method. Different treatment methods are effective in treating depression.

 

Medication 

Brain chemistry can be the reason behind a person’s depression. If it is then it’s essential to consider it while choosing the treatment method. To retain the balance of brain chemistry antidepressants are prescribed. They help modify the mood. They may bring some improvement within a week and their full effect is visible within two to three months. 

If the antidepressants don’t show any effect after weeks then the patient must consult the doctor about the dose or change the prescribed medicine. 

 

Psychotherapy 

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is effective in treating all kinds of depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for depression; it focuses on solving the present problems and recognizing negative thinking. Once the negativity is recognized the patient can start working on changing the behavior and becoming more positive. 

Psychotherapy can be done individually but it can also include other people. There are family and couple therapies as well. Group therapies are an excellent way of bringing people suffering from similar situations together and creating a supportive environment for them to learn. The period of therapy is different for every individual.  

Electro Convulsion Therapy (ECT)

It’s a medical treatment mostly reserved for severe depression cases. A brief electrical stimulation is given to the brain under anesthesia. It is given about two to three times a week and there are six to 12 treatments. A professional team of medical personnel including a psychiatrist, nurse, physician assistant, and anesthesiologist conducts the therapy. ECT has improved a lot since its conception in the 1940s.




 

Self-help 

Making positive lifestyle changes can also help in dealing with depression. There are several things a person can do to reduce the symptoms. Many people find regular exercise comforting and it uplifts their mood. Getting quality sleep and eating healthy are also helpful in becoming positive and handling depression. 

 

Final Thoughts

The most important step for reducing depression is to acknowledge it as a real illness and understand it’s treatable just like any other illness. If you start experiencing the symptoms and it starts interfering with your daily life then you should not hesitate from seeking help. 

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MBA from the Australian Institute of business. Over a decade working for IBM Australia and Oracle Europe and the Middle East. Worked on Artificial Intelligence technology for many years and believes that technology can help everyone better understand his/her personality and find the job they deserve.