Major Depressive Disorder
If you have a medical history of major depressive disorder, then you’re among the 16 million Americans who suffer from the symptoms of this condition on a daily basis. Symptoms of major depressive disorder include:
- Inability to focus
- Negative thinking that doesn’t stop
- Passive death wish
- Suicidal thoughts with plan (in more severe cases)
- Unusual weight changes (in association with other depressive symptoms)
- Low energy
- Increased sleep
Unfortunately, depression can even render someone unable to function from day-to-day. Going to work, school, or even to the store can seem like a daunting task that “just can’t be done”. And with some individuals who seek treatment, traditional treatment options such as SSRIs, SNRIs, individual therapy, or intensive outpatient treatment doesn’t quite seem to provide a lasting improvement. For these individuals, the treatment may work for only a short period of time.
Do I Have Depression?
Only a clinically licensed professional can determine if you have an official diagnosis of depression. However, there are official screeners that have been developed so that either an individual or their clinical provider can gain insight into the potential for a diagnosis of depression.
Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
The PHQ-9 screener can not only determine if depression is present, but is also a valid tool in determining the severity of depression based on scoring of the answers to questions. There are 9 questions in which an individual is instructed to answer honestly based on their own perception. There are 3 potential answers to each question, all a number with a corresponding answer, as follows:
0 = Not at all
1 = Several days
2 = More than half the days
3 = Nearly every day
The number to each answer is added up and totaled as the PHQ-9 score. The higher the score, the more likely depression is present — including a measurement of severity.
After the score, there is a 10th question asking how difficult these have made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people.
Here is an example of the PHQ-9 below:
Get Help with Depression Today
If you have been dealing with depression for quite some time and regular psychiatrist visits have been unsuccessful, don’t keep living needlessly with the pain, frustration, and helplessness that depression brings into so many lives. Contact the team at Therapeutic Solutions today for a full evaluation.