' * Testing for Depression
1. * (physical exam)
Many central nervous system illnesses and injuries can also lead to depression. For example, depression might be associated with any of the following conditions:
* central nervous system tumors
* head trauma
* multiple sclerosis
* various cancers (pancreas, prostate, breast)
2. * (lab test)
The doctor may include other standard tests as part of the initial physical exam. Among them may be blood tests to check electrolytes, liver function, and kidney function. Because the kidneys and liver are responsible for the elimination of depression medications, impairment to either of these two organs may cause the drugs to accumulate in the body.
Other tests may include:
* CT scan or MRI of the brain to rule out serious illnesses such as a brain tumor
* electrocardiogram (ECG), which is used to diagnose some heart problems
* electroencephalogram (EEG), which uses an apparatus for recording electrical activity of the brain
3. * (screening test)
After discussing your mood and the way it affects your life, your doctor may also ask you questions that are used specifically to screen for depression. It's important to keep in mind that the inventories and questionnaires the doctor may use are just one part of the medical process of diagnosing depression. These tests, however, can sometimes give your doctor better insight into your mood. He or she can use them to make a diagnosis with more certainty.
One example of a screening test is a two-part questionnaire that has been shown to be highly reliable in identifying the likelihood of depression. When you take this test, you will be asked to answer two questions:
- During the past month, have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
- During the past month, have you been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things?
* Treating Depression