Top 6 Things You Should Know About the Diagnosis of Depression

Information about how depression is diagnosed, including the official diagnostic criteria, the signs and symptoms to look for and the most common types of depression diagnoses.

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Depression Diagnosis Images

Since depression cannot be diagnosed with any sort of laboratory testing, it must be diagnosed based upon your symptoms and medical history. To make things consistent, the criteria that doctors have agreed to categorize as major depressive disorder have been spelled out in a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

What Are the Diagnostic Criteria Criteria?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a book which defines the criteria by which mental disorders such as depression are diagnosed. The fifth edition is currently in use so it is often referred in short as the DSM-5.

What Are the Main Types of Depression?

The DSM-5 includes the following depressive disorders:

Major Depressive Disorder may also have the following specifiers:

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

The article below lists the possible symptoms of depression. If you have had at least five of these symptoms within the past two weeks - especially if you feel depressed or have lost interest in things you used to enjoy - this could indicate that you have depression.

Is There a Screening Test for Depression?

Yes. Screening yourself for depression is very quick and easy. Just click the link below to take our free online depression screening right now.

I Think I'm Depressed, Whom Should I See to Get a Diagnosis?

If your score on the screening test indicates that you may have symptoms of depression, your next step is to see a doctor. But you may have questions about what kind of doctor to visit. This article will help you understand how to get proper diagnosis and treatment.


"DSM-5:  Changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."  Anxiety and Depression Association of America.  ADAA.  Accessed:  November 23, 2015.

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