Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may also do a mental health evaluation and search for physical causes of depression. These findings will be used to make the diagnosis. There is no blood test or specific diagnostic test for depression.
Depression is usually diagnosed based on the duration (2 weeks or more), frequency (almost daily), number (5 or more), and nature of your symptoms. Questions about your symptoms may include:
DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5. Accessed August 10, 2016.
Major depressive disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Available at: Updated March 31, 2016. Accessed August 10, 2016.
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtm Updated May 2016. Accessed August 10, 2016.
Last reviewed August 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.