The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) is one of a number of diagnostic tools that may be useful in helping to evaluate patients effectively when depression is an issue. Depression is not only a spectrum disorder but also a symptom caused by other mental health issues. Therefore, effective treatment starts with a thorough understanding of how and perhaps why depression is an issue for the patient. Using the Hamilton Rating Scale is one way to help pinpoint the most beneficial therapeutic tools in treatment.
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders says that the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is one of the best ways to determine the severity of depression symptoms being experienced by a patient. Based on their score on the test, patients may be identified as follows:
Because depression may co-occur with suicidal thoughts or actions, it is important to immediately stabilize the patient in recovery by defining a baseline of symptoms and then intervene with recommended treatment protocols and evidence-based therapies.
Later, the HRSD can be used again to assess progress in recovery. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reports that the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is one of the most effective ways to determine whether or not antidepressants are working to help an individual patient heal. If symptoms have worsened or remained the same, it may be necessary to alter the treatment plan to improve results.
The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry with Practical Neurology details the 17 different possible symptoms assessed by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression:
All of the above are rated on a three-point or five-point scale to allow for variability. Scores taken at the beginning of the patient’s treatment are compared against scores later in treatment to assess progress and determine how to proceed.
Oftentimes, depression symptoms co-occur with other mental health issues including anxiety, substance abuse disorders, process addictions and others. Contact us today to learn more about integrated Dual Diagnosis treatment that is necessary to help your loved one heal.
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