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There are no physical tests for depression, although you doctor may take blood or ask for a urine sample to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. A diagnosis of depression is therefore made through the use of detailed questionnaires developed to identify the presence of the condition.

There are two tests or systems most commonly used to classify depression - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the International Classification of Diseases. Other test may be used, particularly by mental health experts.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a test baaed on all known symptoms associated with a particular mental condition. A series of questions will be asked by your doctor to allow him to classily your condition.

The International Classification of Diseases was developed by the World Health Organization, and it is a much wider system, covering diseases of all types. Again a diagnosis will be made following a serious of questions, mainly focusing on your symptoms.

As the accuracy of these depression tests depend entirely on your answers, it's imperative to be as open and as honest as you can. Failure to disclose certain aspects of your symptoms could result in a misdiagnosis. You could then be treated for a condition that you don't actually have.

Although your local GP should be able to test you for depression, he may refer you to a mental health expert. This is nothing to worry about. It's simply an assessment by a more qualified medical practitioner.

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