Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression

Depression is a pathological problem in the mind of the patient. It is defined as anxiety that lasts for more than 6 months. Depression drains all the energy of the patient and almost paralyzes his mind to do daily activities.

A patient with depression is sometimes unable to think properly and normally. He is unable to perform his daily activities at times and suffers from severe mental stress. His relationship with his peers is affected, as is his relationship with his family. Mood swings are one of the most distressing problems he suffers from during depression.

Diagnosis of depression

The diagnosis of depression is as difficult as it is important. People around the patient with depression must identify the problem and make him consult a good doctor in good time. This fact is beyond any doubt: patients with depression do need help.

Hamilton rating scale for depression

Help can only be provided if the problem is diagnosed in time. One of the ways depression is graded or diagnosed is through the Hamilton rating scale. The other name used for this rating scale is the Hamilton rating scale for depression.

This rating scale uses several things asked in a questionnaire form. Rating for each answer is done and is calculated for overall scoring. This also helps in knowing the prognosis or probability of the patient coming out of depression after treatment and help.

The Hamilton rating scale was devised by Max Hamilton in a series from the 1960s to the 1980s. It contains several different questions that focus on the symptoms of depression. It also gives indications about the mental status of the patient in terms of anxiety, weight changes, and other somatic symptoms.

The HRDS uses the scoring of each question asked from three to five. The test takes not more than twenty minutes and gives an assessment of the patient’s status regarding depression. 18–20 questions are asked, and overall scoring is used as a reference.

  1. The chart starts with information about the patient, with as many details as possible.
  2. Then comes a series of questions. We can take a look at some of the questions for a better understanding of the Hamilton chart.
  3. The first question in this sample scale chart addresses the mood of the patient. He has to mention what he feels most of the day. The patient has to mark one of the five boxes that can tell what he feels most of the day.
  4. Feelings of guilt are also asked with five options. If the patient is absent, it means he doesn’t feel it and scores zero on the scale. The maximum score is for the option that says the patient experiences accusatory voices in his head.
  5. Similarly, 20 questions are asked in this questionnaire, and a total score is mentioned at the end of the form. A doctor or psychologist then signs the score sheet, which is then evaluated to diagnose whether a person is suffering from depression or not.
Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D)
Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D)

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