Like many mental disorders, depression is a clinical diagnosis through a history of illness, clinical examination, and collateral history from a patient’s friends and family. There are no definitive laboratory tests or imaging that would confirm a diagnosis of depression. However, some doctors might order investigations to rule out an underlying medical cause for depression, such as a thyroid function test. Some doctors may adopt standardized clinical or self-rated tests to assess the severity of the illness, such as the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale or the Beck’s Depression Inventory.
Depression is a mood disorder with proven highly effective treatment. Those with the illness will benefit from early intervention before their condition worsens with impacts on their daily lives, school, work, and relationship with others. If you suspect that you, or someone you know, is suffering from depression, seek professional help so you can get your life back on track.
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