You might be reading this because you’re concerned that you or someone you know is depressed and are looking for a depression test in order to find out. Hopefully we’ll give you a better idea of how to test for depression.
Unlike physical health, mental health problems can be tricky to diagnose and test for. This is because for most mental health problems such as depression it isn’t possible to do any physical tests that your doctor might usually do to diagnose problems – such as a blood tests.
This means that tests your doctor or therapist might do for depression or anxiety problems often focus on two key and broad areas:
1) How you think and feel
2) What you do (or what things others can observe you doing.)
So whilst there isn’t a depression test in the sense of physical exams, your doctor can ask you very specific questions around the areas above. The reason is, that although everyone is different, there are particular types of answers that are common to most people with depression, which they will be on the look out for.
For example people will often say that they experience more negative thinking when they are depressed, such as negative thoughts about the future, or of death or dying. Typical things that might change in what you do if you are depressed are withdrawing from relationships with people around you, or increase your alcohol intake. Whilst these don’t apply to everyone there are specific areas that are useful to explore for you.
In order to get a clearer picture you might also be asked to complete a questionnaire that acts as a but like a depression and anxiety symptom checker. The one on our site is a commonly used questionnaire which can give an indication of the levels of symptoms of depression or anxiety that you might be experiencing.
Whilst these types of tools, information and depression tests online can be helpful, there is no substitute for getting proper professional assessment and help when you need it. In many cases the types of symptoms that a depression test looks for can be shared with other types of mental health problems and so one test alone might not give you the fullest picture of problems you are experiencing, which could mean that you don’t access the best resources available.
Whilst it can be tempting to look at lots of websites, test and treatment manuals online, we would encourage you to balance your instincts and the advice of those around you more than online materials. If you believe that something isn’t right in your mood, that you are noticing depression symptoms or others are commenting that you have changed – seek help from a professional as soon as possible.
If you are interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression, why not Contact Us to find our nearest CBT clinic?