Are you depressed? DSM-V criteria

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Kevin Mangelschots

Are you depressed?

It can be hard to recognize depression. Especially if you don’t know precisely what the symptoms are. It also doesn’t help that depression and sadness can be hard to distinguish from each other.

It’s a disease that’s on the rise in the entire world for various reasons.

If you are wondering whether you’re depressed or not, then the DSM-V criteria can guide you towards a general idea. But beware, only a health care professional can properly diagnose you.

DSM-V depression criteria

The DSM-V outlines the following criteria to make the diagnosis of depression.

  • The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period, and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
  • A minor depressive episode is characterized by 2–4 symptoms during the same 2-week period, and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
  • To receive the diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition.

Primary DSM-V depression disorders: criteria for adults

Illustration of a depressed man being sunken in negative thoughts with all the negative symptoms of depression listed next to him.

Depressive DiagnosesSymptoms

Major Depressive Episode:

  • 5 or more depressive symptoms for ≥ 2 weeks.
  • Must have either depressed mood or loss of interest/pleasure.
  • Symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment.
  • No manic or hypomanic behavior.

Minor Depressive Episode:

  • 2–4 depressive symptoms for ≥2 weeks.
  • Must have either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.
  • Symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment.
  • No manic or hypomanic behavior.
  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Dysthymic Disorder

  • – Depressed mood for most of the time for at least two years.
  • – Presence of 2 or more of symptoms of dysthymia.
  • – Never without symptoms for 2 months or more over 2-year period.
  • – Symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment.
  • – No major depressive disorder in first two years, no manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes.
  1. Significant weight loss (or poor appetite) or weight gain.
  2. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  3. Fatigue or loss of energy
  4. Low self-esteem.
  5. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
  6. Feelings of hopelessness.
*Not a formal diagnosis, but considered a research category requiring further study.
 

What does DSM-V stand for?

DSM stands for “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders. The V stands for the fifth edition of said handbook.

In other words, it is a scientifically based classification system for mental and emotional disorders like depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive personality disorders, and many more illnesses.

It is used as a diagnostic tool for mental health assessments to determine if someone’s suffering from a mental health illness or not.

It is used by various health care professionals such as psychotherapists, clinicians, and psychiatrists all over the world in order to determine if someone is suffering from a mental disorder or not.

Scientific literature links used

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK36406/table/ch1.t1/

https://www.psycom.net/depression-definition-dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria/

Conclusion

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

The DSM-V can be used as an effective diagnostic tool by health professionals to determine if someone is suffering from depression or not.

However, it’s too complex to be used as a self test tool. Still, it can provide you with some general idea whether you’re suffering from depression or not.

Make sure to seek help from a professional, as well as close friends and family if you suspect that you’re currently suffering from depression! Your health care provider can help to diagnose you properly.