Depression: Tests & Diagnostics

Only a trained mental health specialist can diagnose any of the different types of depression. Often, a physical examination is administered to rule out any other medical issue, such as a thyroid disorder, that could be mimicking symptoms of depression.

Several clinical inventories or scales may be used to assess a patient’s mental status and determine the presence of depressive symptoms.

Among these tests are: the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), Child Depression Inventory (CDI), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Zung Self-Rating Scale for Depression.

These tests may be administered in an outpatient or hospital setting by a general practitioner, social worker, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

The guidelines for diagnosis of major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV).

Manic Depression

Manic depression  Also called bipolar disorder, manic depression is characterized by episodes or phases of extreme elation and extreme sadness; people diagnosed with this disorder can go back and forth between these phases

Several clinical inventories or scales may be used to assess a patient’s mental status and determine the presence of depressive symptoms.

Among these tests are: the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), Child Depression Inventory (CDI), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Zung Self-Rating Scale for Depression.

These tests may be administered in an outpatient or hospital setting by a general practitioner, social worker, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

The guidelines for diagnosis of major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV).

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