How to Diagnose Depression (Part 2) – Some Common Tools, Approaches & Techniques

diagnose depressionIn the first part of this article, we highlighted the importance of seeing a medical professional for advice if you feel you are suffering from depression. We also highlighted some of the more common tools, techniques and approaches a medical professional would use to help diagnose depression and understand the depth and breadth of your depression. These tools and approaches included getting a thorough physical check-up and your doctor gaining an understanding of your complete mental history as well as using natural supplements for depression  as appropriate.

In this second part of the same article we will highlight some of the more specialised tools that can be used in addition to your doctor’s initial physical and mental consultation in order to help diagnose your depression and its possible causes to allow appropriate treatments or courses of action going forward.

diagonose depression Dr Ivan K GoldbergDiagnosing Depression with Goldberg’s Depression Test

The Goldberg depression test and the subsequent measurement of depression called The Goldberg Scale was developed by the American psychiatrist Ivan K Goldberg in the early 1990’s (1993 to be exact). The test itself consists of a number of questions an individual is required to answer based around how they have been feeling in the week leading up to the test. This short scale time period allows the test to gauge weekly changes in depressive states and conditions.

Consisting of 18 simple question is based around feelings each scored from 0 at its lowest to 5 at its highest, the Goldberg depression test, has proved highly successful in being able to separate and subsequently diagnose long-term underlying feelings of depression.

Diagnosing Depression with Personality Measure Tests

Diagnosing the severity of depression using personality measure test methods has been used for the past three decades and can be a very useful guide to help identify the causes as well the depth and breadth of any symptoms of depression.

Tests like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, for example, takes a much more holistic approach to diagnosing depression then The Goldberg’s Depression Test by examining multiple areas of persons day-to-day function. Like many other self-administered tests , the depression personality measure tests provides a week by week report and analysis on how the individual is feeling at any particular point in their lives.

Diagnosing Depression with the Beck Depression Inventory

The Beck Depression Inventory is one of the most widely used tests to determine depression. It requires individuals who may be suffering from depression to rate the presence and severity of symptoms with regards to critical factors like loss of appetite,

dramatic fluctuations in weight, an inability to sleep, their overall mood, as well as feelings of self-esteem and/or guilt ,thoughts of suicide and feelings of hopelessness.

The Beck depression inventory test process then rates and grades these feelings to actions, giving each of them separate scores which are then added together. This final total score is used as a rough guide to establishing the severity of any feelings of depression

the Beck depression inventory test is not strictly a depression diagnostic tool but works rather like other self-administered personality tests by taking a more holistic approach to how an individual feels about different aspects that make up their lives . However a by-product of this is that he is able to determine the nature and severity of any potential depressive instances.

Diagnosing Depression with Blood Tests

Recent research done by North-Western University in the United States of America has demonstrated the effectiveness of using a very specialised type of blood test to diagnose depression amongst teenagers specifically. Since the majority of tests described above use a very subjective methodology to determine the depth and severity of the perceived depression, being able to use a blood test introduces a more rational and empirical approach to diagnosing depression. However researchers warn that this kind of irrational diagnosis of depression it is still in its infancy and that the chances of misdiagnoses using blood tests are still relatively high, but when used in conjunction with some of the more subjective personality based question tests may provide a solid and reliable diagnostic platform for the future.

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