It is not always easy to try to differentiate between depression and other mental health problems. Not even for a physician. A depression scale is one of the best ways to make an accurate diagnosis of depression. A depression scale rates a number of areas in a persons life by asking questions. There are several depressions scales on the market. Some are strictly for health care professionals such as doctors. Others can be used by both doctors and patients. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and the Goldberg Depression Scale are the most common depression scales.
The Hamilton Rating Scale For Depression
The Hamilton Rating Scale is used in a clinical setting by health care professionals. The interviewer, most likely a trained health care professional, asks the patient about different areas of their life and rates the answers. The questions are about the patients mood, appetite, sleep pattern and a range of other issues. The health care profession is trained to "read" the scores and to determine if and if so, how much intervention is needed.
The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale
The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale is a pretty basic, one page questionnaire with twenty statements about different health and life related issues. The patient rates each of these twenty areas in a way we are all familiar with. They either agree with the statement a little of the time, some of the time, a good part of the time or most of the time. The patient can fill out the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale without any help whatsoever. A doctor or a trained health professional is needed to analyze the data to determine the level of depression.
The Goldberg Depression Scale
The Goldberg Depression Scale is a depression scale that is designed to be used by the patient. It will help him or her to keep track of their level of depression. By using the depression scale on a weekly basis, it will help the patient to discover patterns and see factors that may be contributing to their depression. Patients that use this depression scale, often bring it to the doctors visits to discuss it. The Goldberg Depression Scale has eighteen statements rated on a zero to five level of agreement.