Depression Screening Test

Getting proper help for depression begins with proper diagnosis. Of the 17 million people who suffer from depressive illnesses, over two thirds (about 12 million) receive no treatment whatsoever. The minority who do seek help typically consult a number of doctors over many years before the proper diagnosis is made.

Listen to an Interview with Douglas Bloch as he speaks about Healing From Depression: 12 Weeks to a Better Mood.

The questionnaire that follows may help you to determine if you suffer from depression.

Have either of the following symptoms been present nearly every day for at least two weeks?

A. Have you been sad, blue, or “down in the dumps?”

B. Have you lost interest or pleasure in all or almost all the things you usually do (work, hobbies, interpersonal relationships)?

If either A or B is true, continue. If not, you probably do not have a depressive illness. Now continue by answering the following statements.

Have any of the following symptoms been present nearly every day for at least two weeks?

If A or B is true and if you answered yes to five or more of the above questions, you may have a major depressive illness. If you answered yes to #15, you may consider that major depression is but one phase of a bipolar disorder.

For the diagnosis to be complete, however, you should have a complete physical exam and blood workup to rule out other medical problems such as anemia, reactive hypoglycemia and low thyroid, all of which cause symptoms which may mimic those of major depression.

Specifically, you will want a test of the thyroid function called the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) stimulation test as well as the TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone) stimulation test. (The TRH test is complicated to perform and is thus rarely ordered by doctors; however, it can pick up on thyroid disorders that the TSH test cannot.) It is also important to speak with a mental health professional to rule out the possibility that you are responding to a temporary life upset instead of a biological depression.

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