Interviewer: How do I know I am depressed, in-fact it is fashionable today to say I’m depressed
Doctor: Unfortunately some people have been using in that way, definitely it is not the right thing to do. Clinical depression or depressive disorder it is not a fleeting thing. Human emotion is not a stable entity, sometimes you feel happy, sometimes you feel sad; it is a normal phenomenon. Just because you are feeling sad for a moment because of some incident, say you are feeling low for like half an hour or you are feeling upset for one hour, you cannot call that itself to be a depressive disorder or clinical depression
The first and foremost, characteristic of depression is a typical low mood that is pervasive.
It should sustain for at least a minimum of two weeks.
Interviewer: How do I know that there is depression? Is there some kind of screening?
Doctor: There are some screening tests, but before that, we should understand the main symptom of depression – Pervasive low mood. You constantly feel low no matter what is happening in your external circumstances – whether there is something positive going on or not, you still constantly tend to feel low.
Interviewer: What is this constant that you refer to? For how long a period does it have to last?
Doctor: Diagnostic guidelines state that it should be for a period of two weeks, no less.
Interviewer: How does it feels like to be depressed?
Doctor: Nothing makes you happy. The lack of pleasure you feel even when you go through activities that were previously pleasurable experiences, disinterest in things that you may have been interested in earlier, you feel very easily fatigued, very easily tired, you are unable to concentrate, you can’t focus, you get easily irritated, you feel fidgety, angry and anxious.
Interviewer: So mostly if I were in that situation, I may not want to go see somebody… so how do I know that I should at least go and see a psychologist? Because for me, it may be like I’ll win this battle for sure… is there is a screening test?
Doctor: There are screening tests… See, first and foremost is diagnosis of depression. Diagnosis of any psychiatric disorder including depression, depressive disorders and other disorders is mainly based on history and the information what we get from the individual herself or himself or the family members or the informant along with the doctor’s clinical observation. So based on that, a doctor or a psychologist can diagnose depression.
If you have to make use of any tools there are certain screening questionnaires just to back up your diagnosis which you have done by clinical examination.
There are certain screening tools like Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, PEX (Pectus excavatum) depression rating scale.
Some tools are also available online where you can go through it. While they may not be completely accurate, at least you will get an idea that you are trouble or maybe there is a possibility of you being depressed so kindly go and seek some professional help.
Interviewer: And then I think PHQ-9 test is there as well
Doctor: PHQ-9 is generally for your mental health, there are particular scales which are particularly designed to detect screen depression.
Not accurate but ultimately at least it will benefit you to a certain extent that it may help you to identify that you are depressed and one possible reason why people including entrepreneurs do not want to seek help is Stigma.
They feel that they have been in this position for a long duration of time, they are very strong person, but it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t mean that a person who is having depression or a psychiatric illness are weak.
Any psychiatric illnesses including depressive disorder can happen to anyone, no one is immune to it.
Interviewer: So you are saying that it has nothing to do with your strength as a person…
Doctor: No…Not at all