This test is designed to help mental health professionals assess the mood, symptoms, and behaviors of people who are depressed. It is not a medical diagnosis, but it is simply used to give you an idea of symptoms and present you with an option to speak with a physician if you are experiencing depression-like symptoms.
Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Depression usually causes feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed taking part in. You have trouble and struggle to do normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Major life events, such as bereavement or the loss of a job, can potentially lead to depression.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8 percent of the population affected including 5.0 percent adults, and 5.7 percent among adults older than 60 years. WHO also states that 280 million people in the world are suffering from depression. More than just from the blues, depression is not a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. It consists of episodes during which the symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression may require long-term treatment, but this should not discourage you. Most people with depression usually feel better with medication and psychotherapy.
The simple truth of the matter is that some people don’t take depression as seriously as other chronic conditions, such as chronic pain, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. However, the adverse effects of depression can be grievous and should therefore be taken seriously. Here is why depression should be taken seriously:
1. Heart Disease
Depression can reduce a person’s motivation to make positive lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and dieting. With a lack of exercise and a balanced diet, their risk of heart disease increases randomly. This consequently puts the person in danger of probable death. According to research, one in five people with heart failure or coronary artery disease had depression. Depression can therefore be an independent risk factor for heart health problems.
According to research, chronic stress and depression are linked to inflammation and may change the immune system as well. Research also suggests that depression can lead to chronic inflammation. People with depression are more likely to develop inflammation conditions and autoimmune disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
3. Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Your mood has a direct impact on your diet. For some people, depression usually causes a loss of appetite that could consequently lead to unnecessary weight loss. Feelings of hopelessness may lead to poor eating choices and a loss of interest in exercise. Eating foods rich in sugars, fats, and starchy carbohydrates will result in weight gain.
4. Disruption of Sleep
Sleep problems are a common symptom for people suffering from depression. This entails issues with falling asleep or staying asleep for longer periods. Depression can also cause or worsen insomnia. You should also note that insomnia can increase the risk of depression. The effects of sleep deprivation can also worsen other symptoms of depression, such as stress, anxiety, headaches, and a weakened immune system.
5. Potential Suicide
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. This can be the worst outcome of untreated or under-treated depression. When it comes to suicide, the case should be taken very seriously. Research shows that most of the people who attempt suicide usually have a background of depression.
Although depression may take place once in your life, people usually have multiple episodes. Here are some of the common symptoms of depression:
Online depression quizzes are designed to help mental health professionals assess the mood, symptoms, and behaviors of people who are depressed. This online depression test is not a medical diagnosis. This test is simply used to give you an idea of symptoms and present you with an option to speak with a physician if you are experiencing depression-like symptoms.
For initial treatment of depression, doctors and psychotherapists suggest the use of antidepressants. Here are some of the treatment options for depression:
Individual medications are usually grouped into what health care providers describe as classes. The medications within a specific class are chemically related and function almost in a similar manner. The commonly used antidepressants include the following:
SSRIs are suggested for people experiencing mild to moderate depression. SSRIs usually have the least amount of risk in terms of safety and side effects. SNRIs, atypical antidepressants, and serotonin modulators are known as second-generation antidepressants.
All forms of psychotherapy usually entail support and care from a professional who is focused on helping you make positive changes. There are different types and forms of psychotherapy used to treat depression. Each of these methods works in a slightly different way from the other. Psychotherapists may also combine two or more methods to achieve the desired outcome in a patient;
The terms ‘anxious” and “depressed” get thrown around a lot in casual conversations – and for a good reason. Anxiety and depression are not the same things, but they are both types of mood disorders. Depression usually causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and reduced energy. On the other hand, anxiety creates feelings of nervousness, worry, or dread. Persistent states of anxiety or low moods like those of people with clinical anxiety and mood disorders involve changes in neurotransmitter function. Low serotonin levels are thought to play a key role in both, along with other brain chemicals such as dopamine or epinephrine.
This easy to use patient questionnaire is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the nine DSM-IV criteria from “0” (not at all) to “3” (nearly every day). It has been validated for use in primary care.
Stand alone the PHQ-9 is not a screening tool for depression, but it is used to monitor the severity of depression. However, it can be used to make a tentative diagnosis of depression in at-risk populations – e.g., those with coronary heart disease or after stroke.[3, 4] This quiz includes the questions from the PHQ-2 for depression screening.