Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

These exams and tests can help your doctor rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms, determine a diagnosis and check for any related complications:

  • Physical exam. Your doctor may do a physical exam and ask in-depth questions about your health to help determine what may be causing your depression. In some cases, depression may be linked to an underlying physical health problem.
  • Lab tests. For example, your doctor may do a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC) or test your thyroid to make sure it's functioning properly.
  • Psychological evaluation. To check for signs of depression, your doctor or mental health provider will talk to you about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. Your doctor may have you fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.
  • DSM-5. Your mental health professional may compare your symptoms with the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
Sept. 17, 2015