Depression is a psychological disorder, which needs prompt medical attention. It is natural to feel sad/depressed, however, it is a matter of concern, when the symptoms of this disorder prevail for a longer time. The disorder is considered to be severe, when it starts affecting the personal life of the person. It is also termed as clinical depression or major depressive mood disorder.
The person may feel low and additionally, it may also adversely affect his/her thoughts, behavior, and eating habits. A person exhibiting the symptoms of depressive mood disorder needs to undergo certain diagnostic tests. During the tests, the doctor prefer asking a lot of questions about general health and how the individual feels, as this enables him/her to understand their physical and mental health.
- Lack of interest in all types of activities and hobbies, even in favorite activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Increased irritability or restlessness
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Complaints about aches or pains such as headache, body ache, cramps, etc.
- Stomach disorders which do not ease with treatment
- Sadness, pessimism, crying spells, feeling guilty, worthless, helpless, and hopelessness
- Excessive fatigue, always feeling tired
- Anxiety, suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Undesired weight loss or weight gain
Like any mental illness, diagnosing this disorder is also a challenging task. Usually, people overlook the symptoms of depression, or are unable to recognize them, thus it is left untreated, which in turn leads to severe psychological, as well as physiological problems. Hence, the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder is essential. The person is asked questions from a questionnaire which is the 'depression test', so as to examine the disorder and determine its severity.
A test is conducted to analyze whether you need professional help. The questionnaire usually contains questions related to aforementioned symptoms. The questions help to determine the problem areas of the individual, and how difficult are the situations at work and home. Wakefield depression test is also quite popular.
Given below are examples of the questions asked in a depression test. The answer to these questions can be 'not at all', 'sometimes', 'yes', 'always', etc.
- Do you feel sad and miserable?
- Do you find it difficult to do things you used to do?
- Do you feel hungry all the time?
- Have you lost interest in your routine activities?
- Do you keep yourself engaged eating something?
- Have you gained weight in the last few days without any apparent reason?
- Have you noticed loss of appetite or undesired weight loss?
- Do you enjoy sound sleep?
- Is there any difficulty in sleeping?
- Are you always confused?
- Do you find it difficult to take decisions?
- Do you feel that you cannot remember things?
- Is there any difficulty in concentrating on your work or other activities?
Such questionnaires cannot substitute for a complete clinical evaluation by a doctor; however, they help determine whether the individual needs professional help.
People generally avoid visiting a doctor for psychological problems, but it must be noted that depression has a high cure rate. Medications prescribed by doctors work great for depression. Hormone imbalance, change in the surrounding conditions, death of a beloved person, financial loss, relationship conflicts, infliction of some negative events, etc., can result in depression. There are solutions for all these problems. Combating depression becomes easier with family support.
Taking into consideration, the increasing percentage of teenage depression in all parts of the world, it is essential for parents to watch out for the symptoms and signs of depression in their teens. Millions of teenagers and adults undergo depression and often end up with debilitating consequences, due to the 'unnoticed symptoms or untreated condition'. There are different types of depression, such as major depression, bipolar depression, cyclothymia, dysthymia, etc., and symptoms of depression may vary from type to type and from person to person.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a medical practitioner.