Monday, January 23, 2023

Can Depression Be Self Diagnosed

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Body Image Screening Test

The Essential Lesson You Missed in Psych 101- How Self-Diagnosis Can Harm You

A healthy body image is an integral part of our self-esteem and well-being. This two-in-one brief screening self-test looks at attitudes and behaviours you might have about your body shape and about your eating. While the screen cant tell you if you have an eating disorderonly part of the spectrum of poor body imageit can help you reflect and give you a sense if you may benefit from extra support.

Anxiety And Depression In Children: Get The Facts

Many children have fears and worries, and may feel sad and hopeless from time to time. Strong fears may appear at different times during development. For example, toddlers are often very distressed about being away from their parents, even if they are safe and cared for. Although some fears and worries are typical in children, persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression. Learn about anxiety and depression in children.

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Medication And Older Adults

As you get older, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. Because of these changes, there can be a larger risk of drug interactions among older adults. Share information about all medications and supplements youre taking with your doctor or pharmacist.

Use this worksheet to help track your medications.

Treatment, particularly a combination of psychotherapy and medications, has been shown to be effective for older adults. However, not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone. Treatment choices differ for each person, and sometimes multiple treatments must be tried in order to find one that works. It is important to tell your doctor if your current treatment plan isnt working and to keep trying to find something that does.

Some people may try complementary health approaches, like yoga, to improve well-being and cope with stress. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these approaches, on their own, can successfully treat depression. While they can be used in combination with other treatments prescribed by a persons doctor, they should not replace medical treatment. Talk with your doctor about what treatment might be good to try.

Dont avoid getting help because you dont know how much treatment will cost. Treatment for depression is usually covered by private insurance and Medicare. Also, some community mental health centers may offer treatment based on a persons ability to pay.

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How Is Depression Treated

Depression, even severe depression, can be treated. Its important to seek treatment as soon as you begin noticing signs. If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your doctor or health care provider.

Certain medications or medical conditions can sometimes cause the same symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities through a physical exam, learning about your health and personal history, and lab tests. If a doctor finds there is no medical condition that is causing the depression, he or she may suggest a psychological evaluation and refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist to perform this test. This evaluation will help determine a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Common forms of treatment for depression include:

Signs And Symptoms Of Major Depression

Signs of Depression: Depression Symptoms To Look Out For

Each child may experience symptoms of major depression differently. To be diagnosed with major depression, a child needs to show at least one of the following two symptoms for most days of the week, for most of the day, during the same two-week period:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or irritability

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities once enjoyed

In addition, several of the following symptoms must also be present:

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless

  • Frequent physical complaints, such as a headache, stomachache, or fatigue

  • Thoughts of wishing to be dead

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Its crucial to remember that depression symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behaviors must be taken very seriously.

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Professional Depression Diagnosis And Treatment

Alright, you get it: do not self diagnose your depression.

Depression treatment is a staggeringly complicated space. Chances are, even if you do have a form of clinical depression, youll need guidance to understand which kind youre suffering from.

Depression symptoms may mean major depression or seasonal affective disorder .

They may also indicate the possibility of a mental health disorder like bipolar disorder, which again requires the support of a professional to treat, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , which requires the same.

There are various ways to treat depression as a medical condition, and they may include therapy, medication, lifestyle changes and the alteration of daily routines and habits like smoking or drinking. This is a conversation a healthcare provider can walk you through.

Your depression may improve with some extra physical activity in your life, or it may benefit from weekly or regular behavioral therapy to help you deal with undesired feelings and emotions.

You may also be put onto a prescription antidepressant medication for your mental health condition, and a professional may modify your dosage from time to time, depending on your needs.

Sounds exhausting? It is when youre alone and trying to do it yourself. Luckily, a diagnosis of depression isnt out of reach. Clinical diagnosis and subsequent medical treatment is available right now.

A Final Word For Parents

Lets face it, Gen-Z is extremely online. In addition to social media apps, they also spend a whopping 9 hours each day in front of a screen. Its understandable that being engaged with friends and social networks that many hours in a day can take its tollphysically and mentally.

If your child comes to you claiming they have a mental health condition, talk to them about what symptoms they are experiencing and connect them with a professional who can help. In addition, if you notice that your childs use of social media is starting to affect school, friendships and interest in activities they once enjoyed, connect them with a professional.

Getting an official diagnosis and ruling out any other issues is the only way to access an effective treatment plan for any disorder, Dr. Adelayo said.

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Jo Was Relieved About The Diagnosis But At The Same Time Felt Her Experiences Werent Severe

That was pretty clear to you?

One man said when he got the diagnosis it was vindicating to know his instincts about the diagnosis had been right all along and a woman described how diagnosis confirmed to her, and others, that what shed been experiencing hadnt been normal. Diagnosis could also give access to care or medication and hence enable recovery. One woman described the diagnosis as the start of my journey back from depression.

What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause

Diagnosing Depression

Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:

  • disturbed sleep,
  • difficulties with work and your hobbies,
  • difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
  • suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.

Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.

If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.

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Talking With Friends And Family About Suicide

Its important to watch for signs and symptoms of depression or suicide. Dont shy away from asking if a family member or friend is feeling depressed or suicidal. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important. Asking if someone is having thoughts of suicide will not make them more likely to act on those thoughts. Your questions may help the person open up about how theyve been feeling and encourage them to seek treatment.

Tips For Parents To Help Their Struggling Teens

Are you concerned for your teen?If you worry that your teen might be experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, there are a few things you can do to help. Dr. Christine Moutier, the chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suggests these steps:

Look for changes.Notice shifts in sleeping and eating habits in your teen, as well as any issues he or she might be having at school, such as slipping grades. Watch for angry outbursts, mood swings and a loss of interest in activities they used to love. Stay attuned to their social media posts as well.

Keep the lines of communication open.If you notice something unusual, start a conversation. But your child might not want to talk. In that case, offer him or her help in finding a trusted person to share their struggles with instead.

Seek out professional support.A child who expresses suicidal thoughts may benefit from a mental health evaluation and treatment. You can start by speaking with your childs pediatrician or a mental health professional.

In an emergency:If you have immediate concern for your childs safety, do not leave him or her alone. Call a suicide prevention lifeline. Lock up any potentially lethal objects. Children who are actively trying to harm themselves should be taken to the closest emergency room.

Its like walking through the world with dark-colored glasses, Dr. Busman said. Its about myself, about the other person, and the world I suck, this sucks, everything sucks.

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Uptick In Tiktok Self

Many behavioral health experts like Adeola Adelayo, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, have grown greatly concerned in the last year about the rise in teens and young adults who are self-diagnosing with conditions like ADHD, OCD, dissociative identity disorder , autism and Tourette syndrome.

With more time at home and more idle time for social media apps like TikTok, which boasts 2.4 billion views, experts have seen an unusual spike in mental health cases in hospitals and behavioral health facilities across the country. Just this past month, Dr. Adelayo has seen a surge in physical and verbal tics among teenage girls.

Weve seen an explosion of Tourette-like tics in our unit and every single case has been linked with watching countless TikTok videos about people with Tourette syndrome, Dr. Adelayo said. These kids dont have Tourettes, but they arent pretending either. They have a functional movement disorder as a result of stress and possibly underlying anxiety or depression which may or may not have been properly diagnosed.

After a series of individualized treatment plans and two weeks off of TikTok, the patients were back to normalthe tics were goneshowing just how powerful and influential these TikTok videos can be.

Who Is At Risk For Depression

Before your diagnose your self with depression...

Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.

Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.

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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Depression

If youre feeling more depressed lately, its normal to be wondering: How do I get diagnosed with depression? Doctors look for certain key symptoms when diagnosing someone for depression. They consult the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to make a depression diagnosis. The DSM-5 states you need to have experienced at least 5 of the following symptoms, for a minimum of two weeks, to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder .

  • Repetitive thoughts of suicide or death
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Feeling detached, like youre moving in slow motion

Its not uncommon for a primary doctor to refer you to a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional. This could be the case, especially if your blood work and other preliminary tests dont show anything medically related that might cause of feelings of depression.

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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
  • get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
  • ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

Advocacy

An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.

You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.

You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.

Second opinion

Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.

‘PALS’

Complaints

  • Advocacy by clicking here.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed

The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.

Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .

When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.

Some symptoms of depression are:

  • low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
  • having less energy to do certain things,
  • losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
  • reduced concentration,

You may also find that with low mood you:

  • feel less pleasure from things,
  • feel more agitated,
  • find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
  • have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.

There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.

On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/

Famous People With High Functioning Anxiety

My thoughts on self-diagnosis

When trying to raise awareness of a social issue like mental illness, it can be helpful to identify well-known or famous people as examples.

Stars such as Barbra Streisand and Donny Osmond, and athletes like Zack Greinke and Ricky Williams, have all been forthcoming about their experiences with high functioning anxiety.

Scott Stossel, the national editor of The Atlantic,has written extensively about his experiences with anxiety in the context of his achievements.

We often hear about the negative aspects of anxiety, but could there be any advantages or benefits that come from living with anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling that is often characterized by intense fear, worry, and apprehension.

Many individuals with anxiety describe it as a feeling of nervousness and dread that can be distracting at best and all-consuming at worst. Anxiety is typically experienced on many levels, affecting ones emotions, leading to uncomfortable physical sensations, and contributing to negative thoughts.

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It Can Help You Navigate Some Big Life Choices

For some, therapy is a life-long journey. For others, therapy serves as a guide through some tough waters. Maybe you just need someone to help you weigh a decision about work, a relationship, or your health. Having an empathetic ear in these times can only help.

We all experience issues at some point in our lives, whether it be a bad breakup, a stressful work situation, or family difficulties, Sal Raichbach, a licensed social worker of the Ambrosia Treatment Center, told INSIDER. Talking to someone who is trained in handling emotions and working out problems can be extremely beneficial in these scenarios.

When Should I See My Doctor

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, its best to seek help early and your GP is a good place to start. There’s no need to struggle on your own. Seek help:

  • if you are feeling sad, teary or overwhelmed most of the time
  • if these feelings have been with you for 2 weeks or more
  • if your low mood affects how you cope at home, work or school.

Your GP can suggest effective treatment options, and the sooner your symptoms are addressed, the better the outcome will likely be.

Some people with depression feel that life is too difficult, not worth living or even that they themselves are worthless. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, dont wait seek help now.

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