... blood test should I request from my doctor? I keep getting told "I'm just like a diabetic needing insulin and need medication forever". I'm confused
A. Depression isn't a behavioral problem. B.its been known for at least 30 years that endogenous depression is caused by a lack of serotonin. Its a good thing that docs are trained to diagnose diseases without blood tests or there would be quite a few diseases that wouldn't have been diagnosed and treated. You're kind of sounding like the government with their we don't see anything on x ray do you can't have pain.
Hi, kimmi! It is confusing because there are currently no standard tests for psychiatric disorders although some work is being done with genetic testing to determine the brain's ability to respond to certain chemical neurotransmitters.
Diagnoses are based on personal history and analysis of symptoms. If the patient responds to appropriate medication it confirms the diagnosis. The same applies to many physical illnesses for which there is no objective test available.
Hope this helps. Best wishes, WCV
In my case, I could actually feel when the chemical imbalance would take place. I never considered it depression - I didn't really feel sad or have thoughts of suicide - but I was constantly tired and never felt like being active in anything. After seeing my doctor he recommended an MRI on my brain, and it showed damage from previous accidents I've had which could be causing these imbalances. He prescribed Viibryd, and it's stopped that feeling of 'something going wrong' in my head, and I'm getting more active in things in my life. I'm not sure about your case, but an MRI might show if there's anything wrong due to injury or disease. Maybe you could ask your doctor about it.
In my case, after seeing my doctor he sent me to have an MRI done on my brain. The results showed damage that had been done in previous accidents I've had, which he said was probably causing a chemical imbalance in my brain which in turn led to feelings of tiredness & depression. An MRI may not show the imbalance happening, but it could show damage or something other that could be leading to a chemical imbalance. You would have to talk to your doctor about this.
Hello Kimmikat, I suggest you do some reading on this subject from a reliable source. Mayo clinic, any medical school, journals and talk with a physician.
Depression has been diagnosed for a hundred years or more. It has been known through history for thousands of years. This dyshumour from the olden days is now well studied including medications. New ones are continuing to come on the market. It can be situational, which will clear up over time such as a death or loss of a loved one, an accident. It can be genetic where members of a family are disturbed with anxiety, depression, addiction and more severe forms of depression such as bipolar. Almost everyone will go through a period of depression in their lives. When a person does not bounce back over a few weeks, medication is used. When paired with psychotherapy, the person learns to adapt and get better. The medication holds the person in a happier state so they can make progress in readjusting to their life. Medication will not do it alone.
I took the beginning of an article that may interst you. Just google Mayo Clinic for the symptom checker and treatment information:
By Mayo Clinic staff
Subscribe to our Managing Depression e-newsletter to stay up to date on depression topics.
Depression is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can cause physical symptoms, too.
Also called major depression, major depressive disorder and clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn't worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply "snap out" of. Depression is a chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or other treatment."
I do hope this helps in understanding. I have been treated on and off for depression. There is always something new to learn about oneself and find new ways to get through it. Depression, addiction to alcohol, smoking, drugs, were my parents and their parents legacy. I am grateful that my siblings and I learned about this trap and have sought treatment when needed. I wish the same success for you. Write me anytime if you have more questions. Karen
Have you had a psych eval? I had a blood test done but that was post parton depression which the doc said if your thyroid levels were high you had it. Never been told to get a blood test for regular depression. Also are you younger than 30? Are you seeing your pcp? I got told the same thing when I was 20, bc my pcp didn't prescribe anti depressants. You probably have to see a shrink.
Mental illness, when it does not have a genetic or physical component (brain damage), cannot be diagnosed except after death via an autopsy of the brain. In this case they do thin sections and look for micro cellular damage, and look at the actual chemical makeup of the brain. These studies were done in the 50's and the various neurotransmitters, including serotonin and neophronefine were identified. The relationship to depression was established and the first MOAI drugs to treat it were developed. Things have progressed a great deal since then.
Before death, diagnostic techniques that are a bit less invasive are used, including personal history, current symtomology, and response to typical treatment for the mental illness as identified in the DM. There are no specific blood tests, but one, very painful, test is very rarely used to look at spinal fluid. From this an inference can be made about brained chemistry. It is not conclusive and rather controversial. Don't do it.
That is the best that I can do without getting out my old text books and quoting them (this is straight from memory so forgive any errors), but I believe the basics are as correct.
I hope this helps.
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