When it comes to a mental health diagnosis, the ways are different, but the pattern is the same. One of the most common mental health problems is depression. Also known as major depressive disorder, it can feel like a bad day and soon become a full-blown meltdown.
Depression is not grief or a reaction to difficulties faced in life. It can alter your thinking, decision-making, and everything else around you. It can be dangerous to people with pre-existing diseases.
The entire process of depression diagnosis is different yet holds some similarities with the diagnosis of physical illnesses. There are tests involved, and even MRIs. Depression can evolve into something bigger and result from serious physical illness hiding from foresight. That is why, when it comes to depression, doctors take it very seriously. The entire process of depression diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience. That is why we are here to prepare you.
Here is how depression is diagnosed and everything else that follows after that.
Symptoms & Signs
Before visiting your doctor, you can determine whether you’re depressed. For starters, there are a bunch of signs and symptoms that can confirm whether a person is suffering from depression or not.
Depression diagnosis isn’t easy, and it will take some time for doctors to determine whether it’s depression, you’re suffering, or some other mental illness. Well, in both cases, you can determine whether it’s depression.
So here are a few signs and symptoms that you can consider for diagnosis of depression.
- Feeling lost, hopeless, and lonely for the past few days.
- Things that used to make you excited don’t make you feel the same way now. You’re neither interested in them nor get you excited like they used to.
- There has been a sudden change in your appetite or weight. You are either eating more than usual or less than usual.
- A depressed person often appears irritated and lashes out at the slightest things. Thus, creating a toxic environment around them.
- You’re continuously tired and feel low. Any chore feels like a huge task, taking more time than it should have.
- Your sleeping pattern is all messed up. Either you’re sleeping too much or can’t sleep at all.
- You’re always under some guilt and stress and feel worthless.
- You are too self-critical and continuously judge yourself based on the things you do and how you look.
- There are actual physical symptoms, body aches, headaches, and discomfort.
- In case suicidal thoughts are going through your mind in difficult times, then you need to take help immediately and reach out to an expert without wasting your time. It is the most serious symptom of depression.
Professional Testings & Screenings
Once you’re done assessing the situation yourself, it is time to seek professional help for a diagnosis. The mental healthcare provider will ask you many questions about the symptoms to determine your situation. They may ask about your family’s mental and physical health history and your past, as the doctor needs to check whether the symptoms result from physical injury, medicine, or other mental health problems.
There will be a physiatric test to assess the severity of the situation. In some rare cases, the doctor may suggest an MRI to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue causing the depression. Once you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, the doctor or psychiatrist will help with the next step, which is getting better.
With each passing day, depression is more common than ever before. Although, people are now more open about it, which is always a step in the right direction. So if someone you know is suffering from depression, it is time for you to encourage them to take help from a professional.