Depression has always been considered as one of the worst health conditions that a person can be subjected to. This is a health problem that affects your mood swings and eventually leaves you feeling hopeless, unwanted, unworthy, sad and emotionally disturbed. All these feelings can come up as result of biological factors in the body that cause a hormonal imbalance to occur. As a result of this, the portion of the brain which deals with the moods and emotions of a person sometimes gets directly affected hence feeling this way. Other causes of depression may include bad relationships, financial problems, or emotional disturbances such as mourning the loss of a loved one.
So how is depression diagnosed? One way to diagnose depression is by answering the various questions that your doctor may ask you as he tries to find out what is bothering you. These questions are usually systematically arranged and the answers that you provide, always help the doctor know exactly what kind of depression you may or may not have. Some of the things that may be asked include questions like; what symptoms do you have?, when did these symptoms start?, how long have you had them?, how severe are these symptoms? among other questions. Once the doctor has all the information needed, he or she can now be in a position to identify the exact problem and be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment for the condition. This diagnostic evaluation usually also includes a complete mental-status examination by the doctors to determine whether the patient's thought pattern, speech or memory has also been affected. However, up to today, no laboratory test, X-ray or blood test is able to precisely diagnose a mental depression.
For people who are old patients of depression or have had depressed people around them, the question "how is depression diagnosed?" to them is usually easily answered. The reason for saying this is that, since they have had personal experience of the symptoms either while under depression themselves or through helping their depressed relatives, they can easily identify the symptoms present in someone else and be able to know what type of depression they are suffering from. These people may look out for depression symptoms like, extreme conditions of sadness, existence of suicidal thoughts, levels of alcohol consumption, episodes of anxiety and depression among other signs. The knowledge of these symptoms can easily enable the person know whether the patient is suffering from major depression, manic depression or anxiety depression depending on the symptoms available.
Since lab tests cannot be used to precisely diagnose depression conditions, they cannot be part of the answer to the question "how is depression diagnosed". However, these lab tests are often used to confirm whether the illness the patient is suffering from is indeed depression or not. The occurrences of neurological disorders like stroke or brain tumors always bring out symptoms that are similar to the ones seen in depression. For this reason, lab tests are usually significant to see whether these disorders are the ones causing the symptoms to occur. If not, then the doctor will know for certain that these are depression symptoms and the right cause of treatment will be able to be administered to the patient.