How was your persistent depressive disorder diagnosed?
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How do health-care professionals diagnose
persistent depressive disorder? What types of doctors treat persistent
Many health-care providers may help make the diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder and treat the condition, including licensed mental-health therapists, pediatricians, or other primary-care providers, specialists whom one sees for a medical condition, emergency physicians, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers. One of these professionals will likely perform or refer for an extensive medical interview and physical examination as part of determining the diagnosis. Persistent depressive disorder may be associated with a number of other medical conditions, the result of exposure to alcohol or other drugs of abuse or as part of a general medical condition, so routine laboratory tests are often performed during the initial evaluation to rule out other medical causes of symptoms. Occasionally, an X-ray, scan, or other imaging study may be needed.
As part of the evaluation, the sufferer may be asked a series of questions from a standardized questionnaire or self-test to help assess the presence of depression. Thorough exploration for any history or presence of mental-health symptoms will be conducted such that persistent depressive disorder can be distinguished from other types of depression like major depression, depressive symptoms in reaction to stress (adjustment disorder), or depression as part of the mood swings of bipolar disorder or cyclothymia. The mental-health practitioner will also explore whether or not other forms of mental illness are present.