Formal assessments can help to identify your strengths and weaknesses and provide a clearer path forward for your mental health care. Insight’s trained therapists provide assessments that assist individuals of all ages to improve their lives. Assessments are helpful in identifying your levels of symptoms objectively. While assessments can vary from individual to individual, most times they include testing, interviews, observation, and consultation with one of Insight’s trained professionals. Many of these assessments can be done as part of therapy but some may require a higher level of formality depending on the level of need and purpose of the assessment.
What is a depression assessment?
Depression is a psychological condition that may require both medical and therapeutic treatment. It is also referred to as clinical depression, major depression, or major depressive disorder. A depression assessment looks at how depression is affecting how you feel, think, and behave. The symptoms of depressive disorders include:
- Indecisiveness and inability to concentrate
- Feeling guilty
- Feelings of self-doubt, worthlessness, hopeless, or regret
- Frequent thoughts of committing suicide or of death
- Lack of interest in everyday activities
- Lack of joy in things or activities that used to bring pleasure
- Feeling irritated
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Back pain, chest pain, muscle aches, and joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Change in appetite or weight
- Self-destructive behaviour (alcohol or drug use/abuse)
- In some cases, delusions can be present
Why is the assessment used?
Assessments for depression are used to determine whether an individual is predicted to be at high, medium, or low risk for having a depressive disorder. It’s helpful to confirm the level of depression you’ve been experiencing (is it as high as you think or have you been living what you presumed was a low level when in fact, it’s been quite high?) This information is also beneficial for your therapist. Once your therapist has determined the level of depression that you may be facing, they will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your depression so you’re able to get back to enjoying your life. NOTE: You do not need to have a formal depression assessment to effectively treat depression.
The assessment process
To assess depression, we have specific, objective testing instruments to evaluate your current level(s) of depression and depressive disorder. Your therapist will begin by gathering your background history, conducting a thorough interview to understand the symptoms you may be facing, and discussing your past experiences. Depending on the level of assessment, more specific and thorough tests are available. Throughout this process your therapist will ensure that you feel comfortable answering all questions while working together. The assessment can be done in two ways:
- A 15-20 minute screen
- A 2 hour formal assessment by one of our specialized therapists