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The majority of people shop around to get a brand new TV or computer, but just how many of us actually take some time to get another opinion? Turns out, you should — especially as it pertains into a melancholy identification.

That is because depression can be particularly hard to diagnose. “Depression may manifest with distinct symptoms for different folks, and those symptoms frequently overlap with symptoms of anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even addictions,” says Christopher Willard, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Mass., and author of Kid’s Thoughts: Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Concentrated, Still, and Unwound.

Is It Depression — or Something Different?

The classic signals of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, but some individuals with depression also feel restless or irritable, have trouble concentrating, and sleep too little or too much. Others may experience tiredness and dramatic changes in desire.

A number of these symptoms overlap with other mental illnesses, to complicate things even further. Consider bipolar disorder, as an example. Individuals in the manic phase of bipolar disorder experience binge behaviours including eating — all matters which could describe depression, be easily disturbed, and might feel irritated or agitated. With depression, individuals may experience some or all of the exact same symptoms as someone in the miserable amount of bipolar disorder, like feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, hopelessness, and suicidal ideas.

Anxiety disorders also can mimic depression, with symptoms which range from restlessness trouble concentrating and irritability to exhaustion and difficulty sleeping. Even post -traumatic stress disorder could cause some symptoms that are like depression, having slumber disturbances, being upset or irritable, and including being unable to focus.

Finally, some physical circumstances, for example hypothyroidism, could be mistaken for depression. The body needs the thyroid hormone to run easily — in the event the level gets too low, you can experience fatigue, forgetfulness, as well as melancholy. Diabetes is just another possibility. A lot of people have diabetes without understanding it, so symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and irritability may be misdiagnosed as depression.

SEE ALSO:  6 Ways to Clean House When You Are Depressed

How Often Do Doctors Make Mistakes?

The great news? Misdiagnoses of depression are relatively uncommon today. “Melancholy is diagnosed based on a bunch of symptoms, which has turned out to be remarkably exact,” says Dale Archer, MD, a clinical psychiatrist in Nyc and Lake Charles, La. “It’s always possible to have a health condition as the root cause with all the identical symptoms, but in medicine we call this ‘looking for zebras’.”

But misdiagnoses are possible — and it is normally a good idea to get another opinion, especially if you are not feeling better with your present treatment. A full physical and laboratory evaluation should be performed in the event you are not reacting to your appointed regimen. Exhaustion may be a symptom of a medical condition and depression, so that ought to be the focus of the work-up, based on Dr. Archer. In case the laboratory tests come back normal, then odds are extremely likely melancholy is the proper analysis.

Another hint that is significant? Follow your instincts. “Rely on your own gut feeling,” says Russell Hyken, PhD, EdS, a therapist in St. Louis. “Melancholy is having the ‘blues’ for an extended amount of time. If you think it is something else, such as stress, then it may be.”

Other issues such as an undiagnosed learning disability or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, simply to identify a couple, can cause aggravation as well as result in depression. In scenarios like these, in the event the inherent problem is addressed, the depression may lift.

Finally, if you only do not feel a link it may be time for a second opinion. There is help out there — it might take a little effort for one to find it.

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