Depression is often hard to recognize. Depression can express itself in more than a dozen ways and no two people will necessarily have the same kind of experiences of symptoms. Surprisingly, you don’t even have to be sad to be depressed! Because depression develops slowly, people just kind of slip into it.
One way to help determine if you need a formal evaluation is to take the Depression Questionnaire shown below. Examine each statement, and mark “T” if the statement applies to you and “F if it does not. When you have completed the questionnaire, give yourself one point for each “T” you chose. Scores totaling 1 to 5 indicate normal responses to everyday life. Scores from 6 to 10 indicate a moderate degree of depression that can affect health, functioning and outlook. Scores higher than 10 indicate a possible major depressive problem that is severely affecting daily life and health.
If you score above 6, and definitely if you score above 10, you should make an appointment with your primary care provider, a psychologist or psychiatrist and discuss the problem. They can also make arrangements for tests to make sure you’re not suffering from something else (like an under-active thyroid or an infection). After that, treatment can be started and you can begin feeling better soon.
1. My daily life is not interesting (T or F).
2. It is hard for me to get started on my daily chores and activities (T or F).
3. I have been more unhappy than usual for at least a month (T or F).
4. I have been sleeping poorly for at least the last month (T or F).
5. I gain little pleasure from anything (T or F).
6. I feel listless, tired, or fatigued a lot of the time (T or F).
7. I have felt sad, down in the dumps, or blue much of the time during the last month (T or F).
8. My memory or thinking is not as good as usual (T or F).
9. I have been more easily irritated or frustrated lately (T or F).
10. I feel worse in the morning than in the afternoon (T or F).
11. I have cried or felt like crying more than twice during the last month (T or F).
12. I am definitely slowed down compared to my usual way of feeling (T or F).
13. The things that used to make me happy don’t do so anymore (T or F).
14. My appetite or digestion of food is worse than usual (T or F).
15. I frequently feel like I don’t care about anything anymore (T or F).
16. Life is really not worth living most of the time (T or F).
17. My outlook is more gloomy than usual (T or F).
18. I have stopped several of my usual activities (T or F).
19. I cry or feel saddened more easily than a few months ago (T or F).
20. I feel pretty hopeless about improving my life (T or F).
21. I seem to have lost the ability to have any fun (T or F).
22. I have regrets about the past that I think about often (T or F).
Total Number of True Answers: ______