Mental health awareness is becoming a prevalent. And there has been stigma and discrimination against people who suffer from mental health conditions.
Having a mental health issue was not considered as a serious disorder or worse, it was laughed upon. Today, it seems that the situation is getting better.
Now, depression is one of the most discussed disorders. So it is important to know how to diagnose depression, screen all individuals for depression symptoms and have mechanisms to test for mood disorders periodically.
The impact of depression on younger generation is the main focus of researchers. Many famous personalities have opened up with their struggles with depression on Social Media.
How To Diagnose Normal Behaviour from a Mood Disorder
Feeling sad is a normal reaction, but depression isn’t one. It can be caused when you’re exposed to a situation which is sad, but that’s only a trigger.
Eg. If you had to see the death of a loved one right before your eyes, you’re bound to feel sad. If you do not feel sad in these instances, then you might have a different problem.
Grief is another condition that is often confused with depression as both deal with profound sadness. However, grief is also normal especially if you are experiencing a traumatic situation.
When doing a depression diagnosis, it is important to know that there are categories that you need to meet.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 was clear on this part of the signs and symptoms.
Types of Depression
- Major Depression
- Chronic Depression (Dysthymia)
- Atypical Depression
- Postpartum Depression
- Bipolar Depression (Manic Depression)
- Seasonal Depression (SAD)
- Psychotic Depression
- Treatment-Resistant Depression
As you can imagine, depression is a vast topic and can manifest in many ways. So what’s important is to get a diagnosis done.
This diagnosis starts with a checkup. The doctor would look you over and see if you have any physical issues. A series of various tests can be conducted, and it can focus on a part of your body or a byproduct. They can examine the blood, bones, urine, and other internal organs depending on the condition that they are trying to verify. It can be a long process, but a necessary one for your health and well-being.
Going To A Mental Health Check Up
This process is similar when trying to diagnose depression. You still need to go to a professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist. Your physical state can be a part of the entire diagnosis, but this depends on the situation. However, the main difference starts with the tools used for diagnosing depression.
A mental health check up will not involve scalpels or injections, but it can be one of the most intensive practices one could ever experience.
To diagnose any kind of mental disorder, there is a battery of tests that are supposed to be done. Observations on behavior are a big part of the entire diagnostic examination though, and it can be the main focus at first.
Everything starts when you are going to be greeted by several sheets that you need to answer as honestly as possible. The tests depend from country to country, and the provider can also change some parts of it.
However, all of them will still end up with results that are believable and based on evidence with a certain degree of reliability.
Lastly, there would be an interview done by the psychologist or psychiatrist. Here, they are going to probe deeper into the situation of the client. They will also form their basis for diagnosis at this moment, although the results of the tests will be a large influence on that.
The interview can take from 30 minutes to 1 hour, and the results would usually be released after a few days. It is important to note though that only the patient can see the results unless otherwise specified by the situation.