Individuals who manifest symptoms of depression must submit themselves for depression test.
Often times, depression symptoms are being neglected. Usually, these are erroneously associated with the common feeling of sadness. In fact, even a little feeling of upset is labeled in the society as depression. On the other hand, there should be a definite boundary between being sad and being depressed.
In the evolution of technology, most people in the society would rather consult the internet than visit a health care facility to address their needs for information regarding health concerns. However, this doesn’t mean that health care professionals are being outrun by the new technology. In fact, most of the information posted or published in the internet is consists of opinions from the experts or results from the studies of authorized professionals. Likewise, mental health practitioners had adapted this means of information drive regarding mental health. Actually, one of the promising contributions of mental health practitioners is posting an automated or online depression quiz.
An online depression quiz is the same with the conventional depression test in terms of content. The difference between the two tests is the manner of evaluation. An online depression quiz is controlled and evaluated by a computer software or program. Results may become available immediately after taking the test. Moreover, the conventional depression test is conducted and evaluated manually by mental health practitioners such as psychiatrists or psychologists. It is essential that a person having trouble with symptoms of depression must submit self for depression test whether through online test or personal appearance at a health care facility.
Depression Symptoms and Signs
It is necessary for people to become aware with the manifestations of depression. Hence, through self- assessment, a person may determine if professional intervention is needed. Besides, mental health professionals would confirm presence of depression through the symptoms and signs experienced as well as manifested by a person which can be the following:
- Feeling of worthlessness, helplessness or too much guilt about something ( extreme sadness)
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
- Trouble with concentration, remembering details and making decisions
- Restless, aggressive or irritable
- Persistent suicidal thoughts
Content of Depression Test
As mentioned earlier, depression is evaluated through its manifestations. A depression test is generally consists of questions that intend to confirm the presence of symptoms and signs of depression to a person. It would appear like a survey question answerable by “yes or no.” On the other hand, Other depression tests are designed like research instruments wherein the response is consists of numbers ranging from 1 to 5 (one as the lowest and 5 as the highest). Each number will be designated with a certain description such as never, rarely, sometimes, often times and always. This is to identify the degree of depression by determining the degree of manifestations being experienced by the person.
The design of the test may vary from every health care institution. Some may use a standard depression test tool designed by a popular psychologist or psychiatrist, while others develop their own instrument for assessing depression. However, the content of all depression tests has common end which is to determine whether a person is depressed. The following are sample questions that might be asked in a depression test:
- Do you feel extremely sad?
- Are you having poor appetite?
- Are you eating more than the usual?
- Do you find it hard to fall asleep during sleeping hours?
- Do you always feel tired or fatigued?
- Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
- Are you having problems with decision-making?
- Are you becoming forgetful about details?
- Do you easily get irritated?
- Are you always feeling restless?
- Do you have persistent suicidal thoughts?
Apart from the questions above, the health care practitioner would also ask about the length of time the abovementioned symptoms are being experienced. It will be confirmed that a person is depressed if the manifestations lasted for two weeks or more. Likewise, the person must have at least five or more of the symptoms to confirm depression.
Other Medical Examinations to Test Depression
Before or after the depression test is done, other medical examinations will be conducted. The said examinations will not confirm depression but will help rule out other medical conditions that might mimic the symptoms of depression. Likewise, a certain medical condition can also be contributing to the mental disorder experienced by the person.
These medical examinations may include blood tests, radiologic exams like X-ray and Computed Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well as electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram.
Blood tests would determine blood disorders that might contribute to the symptoms being experienced by the patient. For instance, the decrease in hemoglobin count or Red Blood Cells count in the blood of the patient may cause fatigue.
For the radiologic examinations like X-ray, CT scan and MRI, these tests aim to reveal any existence of tumor particularly in the brain. Besides, depression is an illness affecting the mentality of the person in as much as brain tumor would do. Another test conducted for the brain is electroencephalogram. This test would examine the brain waves. Besides, most causes of alteration in the brain electrical activity are epileptic disorder as well as intracranial lesions.
Moreover, the electrocardiogram is a test that would determine the electrical activity of the heart. Some diseases such as congestive heart failure may also manifest extreme fatigue or always feel tired. As a result, it will be mistaken as if the person is losing interest in performing activities similar to depression.
In general, both depression test and other medical examinations are vital for making a diagnosis. Eventually, the focus will be narrowed down as soon as other medical diseases are ruled out from the list of possible causes of the patient’s symptoms.