Depression in the elderly Part 4: Diagnosis of depression

Depression in the elderly Part 4: Diagnosis of depression

Diagnosis of depression Can be done as follows

Self-diagnosis
Patients can be examined for symptoms of depression based on the previous article. If there is any symptom of the disease and does not improve for more than 2 weeks, there is an emotional condition that affects daily life, work, activities, and relationships with friends and family. Thoughts of hurting yourself or killing yourself Should seek urgent treatment from a doctor.

Diagnosis by a doctor Getting medical attention is an important process in treating depression. Because the sooner it is detected, the more effective the treatment will be. By diagnosis of depression, The doctor will perform the following procedures.

Physical Examination
The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the patient’s health. Because sometimes depression can be associated with a different physical health problem.

Laboratory tests (Lab Tests)
Laboratory tests such as urine or blood tests. This is an important diagnostic step. This ensures that the depression symptoms are not a complication of some diseases. They may check for anemia, thyroid disease, various hormones, as well as calcium and vitamin D levels. Because the detection of the underlying disease that causes complications will allow treatment of that disease and help relieve depression at the same time. In addition, in the case of suspicion that the patient may have abnormal liver and kidney function or other medical conditions.

Your doctor may examine your blood results to test for electrolytes in your body. Liver and kidney function and detect drug residues This is because the liver and kidneys are responsible for eliminating antidepressants. Deficiency or deterioration of the liver and kidneys can cause drugs to accumulate in the body.

Other tests include a CT scan or brain MRT to rule out a serious illness like a brain tumor, or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to diagnose heart disease, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to record the brain’s electrical wave activity, etc.

Depression Screening Tests
The doctor will ask questions to examine the patient’s depression. Inquiring about the symptoms in the past 2 weeks. In addition, a depression assessment questionnaire may be used. In order for doctors to understand the patient’s emotional state and make a more accurate diagnosis. For example, in a two-part questionnaire, the doctor will ask two questions:

In the past 2 weeks, have you been depressed or disheartened today? and
In the past 2 weeks, are you bored today and do not enjoy anything?

This set of questionnaires is considered highly reliable in identifying the possibility of depression. Which the doctor will decide based on the patient’s answer on what to do next or they can ask other questions to help in further diagnosis. If the patient’s responses did not indicate depression. The doctor may examine symptoms again to determine the cause. However, each country May have some differences. Due to different societies and cultures

Additionally, your doctor may use other depression assessments to measure the severity of your depressive symptoms, including a PHQ-9 questionnaire, a BDI questionnaire, etc.

While taking the depression assessment test, The patient may feel uncomfortable or difficult to answer certain questions. These are questions about the mood, perception, memory, and physical feelings of patients related to depression. However, Patients should answer questions truthfully as much as possible. Because these questions will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Leading to the prescribing and appropriate treatment methods and it is good for the patient himself.

The DSM-5 is a diagnostic manual for diagnosing a wide range of mental disorders, including depression. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, this guide is used by mental health facilities to diagnose mental symptoms.

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