Does my partner have depression?


Q: Hi, Im writing because im concerned about my partner. I think he has depression, but he refuses to go to the doctors. His sleeping patterns are bad (he cant sleep all night but cant stay awake in the day). He wont leave the house, he barely eats and he can hardly hold a conversation. He seems to have lost his self, he's there but he looks empty. What can I do to help him? Thank you, Kayleigh


A:   It is difficult to make a diagnosis of depression on certain symptoms alone. Depression is classified as a mood disorder. All mood disorders are diagnosed by examining mood episodes the patient is experiencing.  A thorough history and physical exam has to be undertaken to ensure you symptoms are not better explained by other medical conditions. In order to diagnose depression, health professionals rely on the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are other psychiatric disorders that primarily affect your mood and include: dysthymia, bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia. In order to diagnose a mood disorder, your partner's health care practitioner will determine what type of mood state or mood episode your partner is currently experiencing or have experienced in the past. Depression can be difficult to diagnose in one visit. I would suggest that you take your partner to his doctor for further evaluation.

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