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Testing for Depression

Mayo Clinic Web site offers self-assessment for those who wonder if they suffer from it

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A Mayo Clinic self-screening test can help you determine whether you may be suffering from depression.

The site, which you can find by clicking here, offers an interactive depression self-assessment test that provides you with a score indicating whether or not you may be experiencing depression.

Information on the site explains that panic attacks, chronic pain, irritability and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning are among symptoms of depression.

"In a sense, the symptoms become a disease," Dr. Robert Morse, Mayo Clinic emeritus professor of psychiatry, says in a prepared statement.

"The way we respond to stress can alter brain chemistry. If these changes go unchecked for several weeks or more, you may develop the signs and symptoms of major depression," Morse says.

The Mayo Web site says common symptoms of depression include: difficulty doing things you did in the past; feeling hopeless; difficulty making decisions; feeling worthless and not needed; no longer enjoying activities you once enjoyed.

"Just as with physical illness, mental illnesses span a range of severity from mild to severe. They exact a great toll on the quality of life of those with the illness and also those who care about them -- family, friends, employers and co-workers," Dr. Keith Kramlinger, Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and medical editor for MayoClinic.com, says in a prepared statement.

"Depression screening can help you get appropriate treatment, which can improve your quality of life, your relationships, your job or school performance and your overall health," Kramlinger says.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about depression.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, October 2003
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