Depression is a mental health disorder that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It is often experienced as a pervasive sense of sadness or hopelessness, lethargy, and loss of interest.
This simple depression test can help you evaluate your mood and your symptoms, to determine whether or not you might be suffering from depression. As you answer these questions, answer them based on how you feel when you might be depressed, not based on your “normal” state or how you “used to be.” Answer each question with a yes or no and keep track of your answers.
1. Do you have trouble concentrating, more than usual?
2. Do you lack confidence in yourself or experience lower self-esteem than is typical for you?
3. Do you sometimes feel utterly hopeless, maybe for no apparent reason?
4. Is it difficult for you to fall asleep at night?
5. Does your mind feel “slowed down” or dull?
6. Do you find it more difficult to make decisions, even simple or small ones?
7. Is it unusually difficult for you to make eye contact?
8. Are you more easily irritated than normal?
9. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and have trouble falling back to sleep?
10. Is your interest in sex lower than it normally would be?
11. Do you ever have thoughts of harming yourself or of suicide?
12. Do you try to avoid having to deal with or interact with other people?
13. Is disappointment something that you see as a normal, common part of life?
14. Do you have a pervading sense of sadness that seems to color everything?
15. Have you lost interest in things that used to be interesting or enjoyable for you?
16. Are you not eating as well as you used to, or as well as you think you probably should?
17. Do you feel helpless?
18. Has it been a while since you felt happy or content? Is it difficult to remember the last time you were?
19. Were you diagnosed with ADHD as a child?
20. Have you had a change in appetite, noticeably losing interest in food?
21. Are you sometimes resentful or critical of people who appear to be happy?
22. Do you ever feel that life is not worth living?
23. Have you lost touch with or stopped hearing from friends recently?
24. Do you feel that sadness is something that is always a part of life and people who disagree are deluding themselves?
25. Do you feel tired or physically run down, even if you think you’re getting enough sleep?
26. Have you recently lost weight without trying to?
27. Do you have a lack of motivation toward doing just about everything?
28. Do you get nightmares?
29. Are your family and/or friends more of a burden than anything else?
30. Has your productivity at work suffered?
31. Is your energy level lower than it used to be?
32. Do you feel like you are empty inside?
33. Is life simply no longer enjoyable?
34. Is it difficult to maintain your normal quality or quantity of accomplishments or chores?
35. Do you wish you could disappear or just cease to exist?
36. Is winter your least-favorite season?
37. Do you have digestive issues that don’t seem to bother you normally?
38. Does your body feel achy, stiff, or heavier than usual?
39. Are you in either your mid-twenties or mid-forties?
40. Have you been feeling this way for a couple of months or longer?
If most of your answers are “yes,” you may be showing the signs of a severe depression. If you suspect you’re suffering from depression, speak with your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can, to receive a full evaluation and come up with a treatment plan if necessary. If you have health insurance, you may have mental health coverage; calling your member support line may be the fastest way to locate a mental health professional who can help. If you find yourself thinking thoughts of suicide, making a plan for suicide, or you otherwise feel like you are in a crisis, call the confidential Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), any time of day or night. You are not alone and you can get through this.
If your answers are evenly mixed between “yes” and “no,” you may have some moderate depression. If you suspect you’re suffering from depression, speak with your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can, to receive a full evaluation and come up with a treatment plan if necessary. If you have health insurance, you may have mental health coverage; calling your member support line may be the fastest way to locate a mental health professional who can help. Other steps you can take to support yourself include making more healthful changes to your diet, increasing your water intake, and adding some light to moderate exercise a couple of times a week. You may also find some immediate relief by
If you have some answers of “yes” but more of your answers are “no,” you may be suffering from mild depression. Mild depression can often be treated or alleviated simply by improving your diet, exercising, and reconnecting with your social circle. If you aren’t exercising regularly, try to add at least two twenty-minute exercise sessions a week. The more rigorous, the better, but even light exercise such as walking can be a big help. You will see greater benefits by spending time outside, such as taking a walk or even just standing outside your door and breathing deeply for five minutes. If you suspect you’re suffering from depression, speak with your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can, to receive a full evaluation and come up with a treatment plan if necessary.
If the majority of your answers are “no,” your symptoms might not indicate depression and you may just have the blues. Evaluate your diet and see if you can make any improvements, such as adding more green, leafy vegetables or getting more water to drink. Also see if you can spend more time outside. Even five or ten minutes a day sitting on the porch or balcony can make a big difference in alleviating the lethargy or agitation that comes with the blues. If you suspect you’re suffering from depression, speak with your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as you can, to receive a full evaluation and come up with a treatment plan if necessary.
The good news about depression is that it is very treatable. You are not alone, and there are proven ways to make yourself feel better, with or without medication. Awareness is the first step toward improving how you feel. If you have any concerns about your mental or physical health, be sure to talk to your doctor or to a mental health professional.