Diagnosis of depression involves a psychological/physical history
and evaluation. According to the American Psychiatric Association,
if a person experiences a loss of interest in the things they
once enjoyed and are feeling sad, blue, or down in the dumps for
at least two (2) weeks, and are experiencing at least five (5)
of the other symptoms of depression, they may have major depression.
If a person experiences euphoria, irritability, or a feeling of
being "high" with four (4) other symptoms of mania for
at least one (1) week, they may have bipolar disorder.
In addition to listing the symptoms, the doctor will also ask
when the symptoms began, how long they have lasted, how severe
they are, whether the individual has had them before, and if so,
whether or not they were treated and what treatment was received,
as well as whether or not other family members have had these
Furthermore, a mental status examination will be done to determine
if speech, thought patterns or memory have been affected. The
physical examination will either diagnosis and/or rule out any
medical conditions (such as thyroid disease, cancers or neurologic
diseases) that could be causing the depression.