Burns' Depression Checklist

David D. Burns is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of the best-selling book The New Mood Therapy. He has also played a role in the development of cognitive behavioral therapy, a drug-free treatment for depression and anxiety.


Please review 25 questions from the Burn’s Depression Checklist below and mark the correct answer, indicating on how much you have experienced the described symptom during the weekly timeframe, including today. Do not hurry to fill the responses, but try to avoid fixation on each individual question, answering honestly and without internal efforts. The questions are separated by the categories.

1989 by David D. Burns, M.D., from The Feeling Good Handbook


For each question mark a number which represents your situation most closely:
0 = Not at All
1 = Somewhat
2 = Moderately
3 = A Lot
4 = Extremely


Thoughts and Feelings

1. Feeling sad or down in the dumps
2. Feeling unhappy or blue
3. Crying spells or tearfulness
4. Feeling discouraged
5. Feeling hopeless
6. Low self-esteem
7. Feeling worthless or inadequate
8. Guilt or shame
9. Criticizing yourself or blaming others
10. Difficulty making decisions

Activities and Personal Relationships

11. Loss of interest in family, friends or colleagues
12. Loneliness
13. Spending less time with family or friends
14. Loss of motivation
15. Loss of interest in work or other activities
16. Avoiding work or other activities
17. Loss of pleasure or satisfaction in life

Physical Symptoms

18. Feeling tired
19. Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
20. Decreased or increased appetite
21. Loss of interest in sex
22. Worrying about your health

Suicidal Urges

23. Do you have any suicidal thoughts?
24. Would you like to end your life?
25. Do you have a plan for harming yourself?

Interpreting the Burns Depression Checklist

Total Score - Level of depression:

0-5 - no depression
6-10 - normal but unhappy
11-25 - mild depression
26-50 - moderate depression
51-75 - severe depression
76-100 - extreme depression

Sources and Additional Information:


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