Depressive Episodes

What Causes Depressive Episodes?

Depressive episodes can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose depressive episodes, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "depressive episodes" as a symptom.  Here are three possibilities:
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Lyme Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
long work hours
being very skinny
an average-stress lifestyle
pre/menstrual depression
breast soreness during cycle
refined white flour consumption
much lower back pain
loss of interest in activities
minor mood swings
numb/burning/tingling extremities
severe eyelid twitch
discontinued antidepressant drug use
... and more than 60 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of depressive episodes:
Cause Probability Status
Stress 93% Confirm
Lyme Disease 19% Unlikely
Depression 3% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate suffering from depression, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you experienced depression?
Possible responses:
→ Barely worth mentioning / don't know
→ No, definitely not
→ 1-2 past episodes that were fully resolved
→ It is a repeating but tolerable problem
→ It is a repeating and serious issue
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no history of depression, history of depression or recurring depression, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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