Do Not Diagnose Your Depression – Screening Test for Depression
Victor Frankl says, “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior”. So, if we are stressed out a little more than usual (abnormal reaction) because of the ongoing pandemic crisis (abnormal situation), then we can safely infer that we are normal. But how do we know when our supposedly “stressed out a little more than usual” phase is abnormal? How do we diagnose depression in the current situation we are all in?
Table of Contents
Can you diagnose depression?
The answer is – WE CANNOT (unless of course you have a medical degree or we are mental health experts). So, what WE CAN actually do is try and understand our response to the present situation.
- What is triggering your depression/sadness?
- Is the pandemic situation the key stressor?
- Did you have similar issues in the past?
- Would you have felt better if there was no virus outbreak?
You may want to read: Unlock your personality in this lockdown-Finding the right personality test online
Do you know your trigger?
Once you are able to answer the questions in the example above, you can to some extent identify the reason you are feeling sad or depressed. If you are able to pinpoint the trigger, the next step would be to look at the frequency, intensity and duration of your current feelings.
For example: You recognize the pandemic crisis as the trigger. In addition, you have been feeling very depressed almost every day continuously for more than two weeks. In such a case, it may no longer just be sadness. You may require further screening tests to determine if you need to seek professional help.
Screening test for depression
A free online screening test is available on the Mental Health America website (the link). This test contains 10 multiple-choice statements and you have to choose the frequency that ranges from Not at all, Several days, More than half the days, Nearly every day. The test also takes into account other personal information before displaying the result. The test gives you a total score between 1 to 27 and depending on your acquired score your depression is categorized from Minimal to Severe. Although this is a recognized screening test, it is still not a medical diagnosis.
Test result and beyond
Depending on your result from the screening test, you may have to take further steps. Especially if your score is 10 or above, you must consider seeking professional help to get a proper diagnosis for depressive disorder. Only with a proper diagnosis will you be able to receive proper treatment. When it comes to mental health issues like depressive disorder, the treatment could include a mix of options like medication and psychotherapy. Recovery from depression also depends on an individual’s environmental as well as personal disposition. What is comforting though is that treatment is absolutely possible.
We recommend this depression screening test for you as well as your loved ones if you have been feeling the blues. Although the screening test is just a preliminary step, each step you take will only take you closer to a healthier you.