Am I Depressed?

in Understanding Depression

Depression Test

You’ve probably heard many people say, “I’m depressed.” Often, people use this statement to describe disappointment.

People will say they are “depressed” when a relationship breaks up, when they fail a test or when their car breaks down and they are hit with a large repair bill.

However, true depression is a much more serious condition than the temporary blues to which many people are referring when they say they are depressed.

The medical condition known as clinical depression causes symptoms that interfere significantly with daily life.

If you are feeling sad, disinterested in things that you used to enjoy, hopeless or worthless, an important question to ask yourself is, “Did something happen recently to explain this mood or am I depressed?”

Even if there is a recent event that could explain your low mood, if the symptoms last for more than two weeks and do not seem to improve, you may be experiencing clinical depression.

Depression can be triggered by an event that would normally cause sadness, but the symptoms do not go away.

Often, however, clinical depression has no obvious cause.

Am I Depressed Quiz

There are several ways that depression is diagnosed. One way is to take an “am I depressed” questionnaire such as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

If you are feeling depressed and wonder if your symptoms are due to clinical depression, you can find out by answering the twenty-one questions on this questionnaire, which was developed by a psychologist named Aaron T. Beck.

The BDI is one of the most commonly used tools for diagnosing depression. Each question in the BDI has four possible answers with each response worth a certain number of points.

The test is scored by adding up the total number of points from the responses you give. If you score more than 9 points, you may be depressed.

Scores between 10 and 30 mean that you may have mild or moderate depression. A score of 30 or more suggests that you may be severely depressed.

For example, one of the questions on the Beck Depression inventory is

[0] I do not feel sad.
[1] I feel sad.
[2] I am sad all the time and I can’t snap out of it.
[3] I am so sad or unhappy that I can’t stand it.

Other questions address symptoms such as feelings of guilt or being punished, difficulty thinking or concentrating, hopelessness, irritability, weight loss, fatigue and loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed.

Other Depression Inventories

There are a number of other quizzes like the BDI that can be used to determine whether or not you are suffering from depression.

Another such test that is often used is the Goldberg Depression Inventory, developed by psychiatrist Dr. Ivan Goldberg.

For this quiz, each of eighteen questions has the same list of multiple choice responses, and you choose whether, in the past week, the statement is not at all true for you, somewhat true, just a little true, moderately true, true quite a lot or very much true.

The statements in the Goldberg Depression inventory are:

1. I do things slowly.

2. My future seems hopeless.

3. It is hard for me to concentrate on reading.

4. The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life.

5. I have difficulty making decisions.

6. I have lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me.

7. I feel sad, blue and unhappy.

8. I am agitated and keep moving around.

9. I feel fatigued.

10. It takes great effort for me to do simple things.

11. I feel that I am a guilty person who deserves to be punished.

12. I feel like a failure.

13. I feel lifeless – more dead than alive.

14. My sleep has been disturbed – too little, too much or broken sleep

15. I spend time thinking about how I might kill myself.

16. I feel trapped or caught.

17. I feel depressed even when good things happen to me.

18. Without trying to diet, I have lost or gained weight.

How Can I Use An “Am I Depressed” Quiz?

Questionnaires like the BDI and the Goldberg Depression Inventory are useful for a number of reasons.

First, you can take them yourself to decide whether or not you need to look more carefully into the idea that you might be depressed.

If you receive a high score on one of these quizzes, you can make an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist or begin to educate yourself more about depression.

You can also use the individual statements to hone in on the particular symptoms that are the most troubling for you.

Since many “am I depressed” quizzes give you the opportunity to say whether a symptom is mild, moderate or severe, you identify the symptoms that are most serious for you and begin there when tackling your depression.

For example, if statements about the way you view yourself (feelings of worthlessness, feeling guilty or feeling like a failure) are the most serious in your case, you may need to talk to a counselor about your self-image.

On the other hand, if you sadness, fatigue and difficulty concentrating are your major symptoms but you feel okay about your self-worth, you may want to consider medication as a primary means of coping with your symptoms.

Depression bookIn End Your Depression, you can get more ideas about how to manage the individual symptoms of depression once you have identified which symptoms are the most troubling for you.

The approaches in End Your Depression give you step-by-step guidelines to help you get past any issues that are causing or contributing to your depression so that you can get on with your life with fewer debilitating symptoms.

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