Depressive Disorders

The PsychProfiler is an online psychological assessment that screens for depressive disorders in children and adults, including persistent depressive disorder and major depressive disorder. The Child and Adolescent PsychProfiler (CAPP) allows for three separate respondents when screening – i.e., the child or adolescent, the parent, and the teacher. The Adult PsychProfiler (APP) allows for two separate respondents when screening – i.e., the adult and an observer (e.g., spouse, parent, etc). 

What are Depressive Disorders?

While it is normal to feel sad sometimes, depressive disorders often bring about a persistent loss of interest and ongoing feelings of sadness. Depressive disorders can get in the way of everyday life, making individuals feel as though life lacks meaning and impacting how they think, feel and behave. A persistent feeling of sadness and emptiness that can’t be shaken, depressive disorders can also manifest in symptoms such as irritability or frustration, lack of mental clarity and suicidal thoughts. Depressive disorders often also have physiological impacts, such as sleeping disturbances, a lack of energy, changes in appetite and unexplained physical pain, such as back pain or headaches. Often, these symptoms will have a detrimental impact on an individual’s academic performance, work and/or relationships. 

Types of Depressive Disorders that the PsychProfiler screens for: 

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Major depressive disorder is characterised by discrete episodes, lasting at least two weeks, involving clear-cut changes in affect, cognition and neurovegetative functions and inter-episode remissions. When diagnosing major depressive symptoms, the essential feature is a period of at least 2 weeks, in which there is either depressed mood and/or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. The mood in a Major Depressive Episode is often described by the person as “depressed”, “sad”, “hopeless”, “discouraged”, or “down-in-the-dumps” and manifests as cognitive (low self-esteem) and/or somatic (e.g., insomnia, fatigue) symptomology. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Persistent depressive disorder, often referred to as dysthymia, is a long-term form of depression. In diagnosis, the essential symptom of persistent depressive disorder is a depressed mood that occurs for most of the day, for more days than not, for at least one year. Individuals with PDD describe their mood as “sad” or “down-in-the dumps” and manifests as cognitive (low self-esteem) and/or somatic (e.g., insomnia, fatigue) symptomology. These symptoms can result in significant impairment, impacting many facets of life, including relationships, working lives and educational endeavours, which makes depression assessment and diagnosis so important.

Depressive disorders in children and teens

Although teens and adults share many similar symptoms, depressive disorders can be displayed differently in children. For young children with depressive disorders, symptoms can include feelings of sadness, clinginess, frustration and worry. They may also complain of aches and pains, be underweight or refuse to go to school. 

Teens with depressive disorders also often experience ongoing sadness, irritability, and anger, as well as feelings of low self-worth, being misunderstood and a loss of interest in everyday life. Teens may also present signs of social avoidance, lower academic performance or attendance, changes in sleeping patterns, self-harm, or recreational drug use. Undertaking an online depression assessment can be a helpful first step toward diagnosis and treatment, get started with the PsychProfiler here.

Depression in adults

Due to a reluctance to seek professional help, depressive disorders often go undiagnosed in adults for many years. Usually disruptive to everyday life, typical symptoms of depressive disorders in adults include changes in personality, feelings of emptiness, irritability, lack of motivation and suicidal thoughts. Physiological symptoms can include loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and physical aches and pains. These symptoms often significantly impact the individual’s life, putting strain on personal relationships, quality of life and/or work performance. 

What is the PsychProfiler?

The PsychProfiler is an online psychological assessment that screens for 20 of the most common psychiatric, psychological, and educational disorders in children, adolescents and adults. It is based on the DSM-5 and can be used by individuals, parents, and practitioners to aid in the diagnosis of disorders by professionals. Screening for these disorders helps to identify a path forward with treatment to help individuals and their loved ones live their most fulfilling and rewarding lives.