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DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria

Suggested Questions

Depressed Mood

Depressed mood most of day, nearly every day

How was your mood been lately? OR Do you ever feel down, depressed, or blue? How often does that happen? How long does it last?


Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities most of day, nearly every day

Have you lost interest in your usual activities? Do you get less pleasure in things you used to enjoy?

Sleep disturbance

Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

How have you been sleeping? How does that compare to your normal sleep?

Appetite or weight change

Substantial change in appetite nearly every day or unintentional weight loss or gain (eg >5% of body weight in 1 month)

Has there been any change in your appetite or weight?

Decreased energy

Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

Have you noticed a decrease in your energy level?

Increased or decreased psychomotor activity

Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day

Have you been feeling fidgety or had problems sitting still? Have you felt slowed down, like you were moving in slow motion or stuck in mud?

Decreased concentration

Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness nearly every day

Have you been having trouble concentrating? Is it harder to make decisions than before?

Guilt or feelings of worthlessness

Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly

Are you feeling guilty or blaming yourself for things?

Also remember to ask questions about suicide attempts, hospitalisations and the depressions effect on family and friends as well as overall functioning such as social, occupational or other important areas. A depressive disorder is diagnosed if the symptoms have been present for more than 2 weeks.