Diagnosis of Depression

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. Your doctor may search for physical causes of depression. These findings will be used to make the diagnosis. There is no single test to do this.

You will have a:

  • Physical exam—Certain medicines and health conditions can cause the same symptoms. Your doctor can rule these out. The most common ways are with a physical exam, questionnaires, and lab tests. This may involve tests to see if you have problems with your speech, thought patterns, or memory.
  • Psychological exam—A mental health expert can give you this exam. You may take a special screening test. These tests don’t provide all the answers. They must also consider your situation and how these problems are affecting you.
  • You may also be tested for other mental health problems. These can happen in people that have depression. These may be alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, or problems with anxiety or mania.

A diagnosis is based on:

  • Having symptoms for 2 weeks or more
  • How many days a week you feel them—almost daily
  • How many symptoms you have—5 or more
  • What symptoms you have

You will be asked about your symptoms:

  • When they started
  • What brings them on
  • How severe they are
  • How much they keep you from going to work or school
  • If they come with pain
  • If you've had them before, if they were treated and if so, how
  • If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Other people in your family with the same problems
  • If they bother your sleep patterns

Revisions

Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Henry Ford Allegiance Health or performed by Henry Ford Allegiance Health physicians.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Swelling, pain, redness and increased warmth in a leg may be warning signs of a life-threatening deep vein blood clot. If you have these symptoms, call your family physician or go directly to the Emergency Department.