How do I know if I have depression?

Most people who screen positive for depression don’t receive treatment, and many of those who do receive treatment don’t have the disorder. 

It’s important to find a provider you feel comfortable working with to both diagnose and treat depression. Note the following: 

  • Laboratory tests may be needed to rule out medical causes of depression
  • A review of medications you are taking that may exacerbate or contribute to depression

Online screening tests like the PHQ-9 may help point out depression but are not a good diagnostic tool, and should only be the first step to finding a provider to help with your mental health needs.

Several risk factors may increase your chance of having a depressive disorder. These include: 

  • A strong family history of depression
  • A history of depression or other mental health disorders
  • Pregnancy, recent birth of a child, or menopause
  • Traumatic early life events and stress may be the leading risk for depression
    • Hormones and stress may play a key role in this

Learn about behavioral health services at Swedish.