How Do Rating Scales for Depression Work?

How Do Rating Scales for Depression Work?

When you or a loved one is depressed, it can be helpful to understand the terms used to describe and diagnose depression. With a thorough understanding of the depression scale, you will be in a better position to understand the given depression diagnosis, and also recognize how depression treatment solutions are designed to help you or your loved one through this difficult phase.

The Basics of a Depression Scale

As someone who is depressed, or someone who has a depressed loved one, you may be interested to learn that not all forms of depression are identical. Certainly there are similarities among depressive states, but there are also several variances; some of which could be indicative of a much more serious depressive disorder.

Psychiatrists and therapists will incorporate a depressive scale as a means of measuring the severity of your depression over a specific period of time. Specific characteristics about your current mental state help determine the score you receive. After the depression diagnosis is obtained, your psychiatrist will ask you a series of questions in order to determine whether you are at risk for a depressive disorder that requires further exploration in order to diagnose.

Some depression scales rate the severity of the symptoms each patient displays, including behavior, verbal reports, and also any secondary symptoms of the depression. Other depression scale tests may pose questions to the patient, so that he or she can evaluate his or her own mental state.

A common depression measurement question is, “In the past month, have you felt depressed, down, or even hopeless when you think about your life now or your future?” These types of questions allow the individual to do a self-inventory, which can prove to be very helpful. Questions often cover various depression symptoms, including the following:

  • Irritability
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt

The most important thing to keep in mind about any depression scale is that it is not meant to judge or criticize you. The depression scale helps your treatment professionals to assess your mental state, and to discover whether your depression diagnosis requires further exploration. In order to begin the most effective depression treatment plan, your treating psychiatrist requires a thorough understanding of your depression and your overall mental health.

The Connection between Depression and Addiction

Many individuals who face depression seek methods to self-medicate their symptoms. Whether drugs or alcohol play a role in the self-medication is typically a personal choice, but the end results are ultimately the same. The depression fuels the addiction, and the addiction in turn can worsen the depression. The solution is to seek depression treatment that also allows you to work through your addiction in a healthy manner.

Find a Depression Treatment Facility

To learn more about the depression scale or to learn how you can get a thorough depression diagnosis, please call our toll-free helpline. Calls are confidential and answered around 24 hours a day by knowledgeable counselors.

Depression and addiction do not need to continue to control your life. With proper depression treatment, you can once again restore a sense of stability to your life.