One of the difficulties in diagnosing and treating depression is that some of the common symptoms that accompany depression can also be seen in other conditions. I explain the following diagram to my patients:
The 4 interlocking circles represent major depressive disorder, bipolar spectrum disorders (there are many subtypes of bipolar disorder), general anxiety disorder and anxiety subtypes like PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), seasonal affective disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorders etc. The last circle is attention deficit disorder either with inattention or hyperactivity and anxiety. People with attention deficit disorder often feel anxious that they will forget something; therefore their mind is always on “hyper alert” so they cannot focus or finish the task that is at hand. People can have “co-morbid” conditions which mean they have an overlap of more than one process going on at the same time. Another synonym is “dual diagnosis.” Many people have both bipolar 2 and attention deficit disorder and they will benefit from treating both conditions simultaneously.
Therefore, a person should honestly review the preceding list of symptoms and potential risk factors based of their family inheritance, medical conditions, medications, history of substance abuse, and environmental trauma. I would suggest they take a “Hamilton Survey for Physical and Emotional Wellness.”