Brand new technology created allows for the first ever blood test for depression.
It's a new way to diagnose patients objectively.
"I was very relieved that there was actually something that could validate how I truly felt," said one patient, who does not want her identity revealed and will be called Jane.
Jane says it's because there's still shame associated with major depressive disorder, or MDD.
"I think this blood test could really help lower or lessen the stigma of a mental condition," says Jane.
That's in part why a San Diego company created the first blood test to diagnose depression.
"There's never been a blood test that aides in neuropsychiatric disorders. This will be truly ground breaking," says Lonna Williams, CEO of Ridge Diagnostics.
Ridge Diagnostics developed the science for MDD score in 2007, but this is the first year it's being used by physicians.
"It helps validate the diagnosis for me as a psychiatrist," says Dr. Marcella Wilson, a psychiatrist.
Dr. Wilson uses the technology in conjunction with her clinical evaluation.
It works like this: the patient gets an ordinary blood draw that's sent to a lab.
There, technicians analyze the blood for biomarkers or physiological changes that occur when a patient is depressed.
"People are tired all the time; they don't want to get out of bed. That's a physiological change. Some people just can't eat. That's a physiological change," says Williams.
The score is on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the highest likelihood for depression. Jane got a nine.
"I was surprised at how high it was, but I wasn't surprised, because I know how I feel inside," says Jane.
Psychiatrists say most people like that the test confirms their feelings as an actual biological disorder.
"Everybody's telling them it's in their head, meaning they're making it up. There's nothing really wrong. If they'd just pull themselves up by their boot straps, they'd be fine," says Dr. Wilson.
Jane says it's helped in explaining to her family and friends.
"I can actually show them on paper, this is what's going on. This is how I'm feeling. This is why medication is such an important part of my life. I wish I would have found out about it 15 years ago."
The test should be available across the US in about a year.