Depression Tests and Exams for Diagnosing the Illness
If you are suspicious about depression and are planning to consult your doctor about the same, this is a must read article for you wherein you will come across the different depression tests. This is because a doctor can perform the various depression tests to diagnose the illness.
However, the doctor’s focus will not be only on depression. It will also be on other chronic diseases that you might have and whose symptoms tend to be somewhat similar to the signs of depression. Therefore, mostly, the doctor will conduct a physical exam and will also go for certain lab tests to find out whether the symptoms of depression are related to a co-existing condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or thyroid. In case it is found that the apparent symptoms are related to other chronic disease, the doctor will then focus on treating even that disease, as that will also help in relieving from depression. So, let’s find more about the depression symptoms test and exams.
Prior to a Depression Test: Physical Examination of the Body
This can be the first step that your doctor can take to diagnose depression. The main purpose of physically examining the depressed person is to rule out a physical causal factor for depression. During the physical examination, the doctor might concentrate mostly on the hormonal as well as nervous systems. The doctor will find out a major health concern that might be triggering the signs of clinical depression. For instance, hormone disorders such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Cushing’s disease are the common illnesses linked to depressive symptoms.
Sometimes, an injury or illness in the central nervous system also triggers depression. For instance, conditions such as stroke, head trauma, central nervous system tumors, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple sclerosis can also lead to depression. The doctor will also ask you to share your medical history. This is because corticosteroid medicines prescribed for asthma and arthritis such as prednisone also tend to contribute to depressive disorders.
A clinical depression test for teenagers, adults, elderly, and kids mostly tend to be similar with slight variations in the way they are carried out. What you have to note is that not all depression symptoms tests aim at diagnosing depression. In fact, there will be some tests that are done to just rule out other chronic medical conditions that tend to trigger similar symptoms. So, there are chances that your doctor might go for blood tests to detect the medical conditions such as thyroid and anemia causing depressive symptoms and to check liver function, kidney function, calcium levels, brain function, and electrolytes. It is vital to check the kidney and liver functions because any impairment to them can result in accumulation of antidepressants in the body.
Apart from blood tests, a clinical depression test can include CT scan or MRI to rule out brain related disease, ElectroCardioGram (ECG) for diagnosing heart ailments, and electroencephalogram (EEG) for tracing the brain’s electrical activity.
How Depression Tests can help you?
While discussing with you about your thinking patterns and mood to know about their impact on life, the doctor might ask you questions that are targeted for screening depression. This is similar to a questionnaire with a few questions on what you think and feel and how you react. Such a depression screening test works for people of all ages, as it throws more light on your unusual behavioral and thinking patterns. In fact, this questioning plays a vital role while conducting a depression test for teenagers and adults, as these two age groups are more likely to be reluctant in sharing their feelings.
Such a depression screening test is also very useful for diagnosing manic depression. While taking a manic depression test, the doctor might ask in the following manner: