Although there is no blood test to diagnose depression, there are
well-developed clinical guidelines used by health care professionals to diagnose major depressive disorder. One of these guidelines, developed by the American Psychiatric Association, is called the DSM-IV®. Your health care professional may ask you questions based on this established diagnostic tool.
According to the DSM-IV, major depressive disorder (or "depression") is diagnosed when five or more of the following symptoms of depression are present for most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks. At least one of the symptoms must be either persistent sad or “empty” feelings or loss of interest in activities.
Symptoms of depression
Here is a list of emotional and physical depression symptoms according to the DSM-IV:
- Constant sadness
- Feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Trouble sleeping
- Low energy or fatigue
- Significant weight change
- Difficulty concentrating
Be sure to tell your health care professional if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Also, tell your health care professional if your symptoms are affecting your ability to function at home, at work, or with family, friends, or colleagues.
When to call your doctor
Call a health care professional right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you.
- Thoughts about suicide or dying
- Attempts to commit suicide
- New or worse depression
- New or worse anxiety
- Feeling very agitated or restless
- Panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- New or worse irritability
- Acting aggressive, being angry or violent
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- An extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- Other unusual changes in behavior or mood
If depression is affecting the way you feel about yourself, treating it may help. PRISTIQ®(desvenlafaxine) is FDA approved to treat depression in adults. Ask your doctor if PRISTIQ may be right for you.
PRISTIQ could be a key in treating your depression symptoms.