Depression Test, Diagnosis And Free Online Screening
Free Weekly Depression Test with our Free Course
A step-by-step reading program to guide you through your cognitive behavioral therapy program. Structured as short, easy-to-digest daily briefings, allow 5 minutes a day or read the entire contents of the week once at the weekend.
You don’t have to fight depression on your own. Our online support groups let you discuss issues and problems without the embarrassment of facing friends or people at work. You may be surprised by how easy you find it to open up to others outside your normal circle. And the process works both ways: your progress and advice could also be an inspiration to them!
Still Not Convinced?
- Over 83% of clients agree or strongly agree that the program is helpful
- Over 93% of clients agree or strongly agree that the readings and briefings are useful
Our course includes a weekly depression test to help you keep track of your symptoms and chart your progress as you complete the course. Complete your first test straight after sign up!
With many therapists charging $150+ per weekly visit, eight weeks of traditional therapy could cost $1,200 or more. Enrolment in this program is usually $400, but is available to a limited number of clients for FREE.
Specially designed worksheets are used to help you identify the problems that have given rise to your depression and start working on solutions to get yourself better. Worksheets take an average 7 minutes to complete online, any time 24/7. You get an emailed copy of each.
If you’re still unsure of whether this course, and the included depression test is for you or not, we’ve included below a definition of depression, traditional techniques to evaluate depression and some of the more common symptoms of depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disturbance that occurs on a spectrum from mild, situational sadness to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), a serious mental health condition. There are number of different tests used to determine the severity of depressive symptoms, but the first step in evaluation is often screening to rule out physiological causes or medical conditions.
Evaluation And Symptoms
Physical exams to rule out potential medical causes of depression are done primarily on the nervous and hormonal systems. Some conditions, like hypothyroidism—caused by an underactive thyroid gland—can cause depressive symptoms. Hyperthyroidism, which is caused by an overactive thyroid gland, as well as the adrenal condition called Cushing’s disease, are typically associated with anxiety symptoms, but can also show up as depressive symptoms. Anemia can also present with symptoms of depression.
Diseases of the central nervous system, like tumors, brain trauma and multiple sclerosis, as well as certain cancers are also associated with depressive symptoms. Certain medicines can also mimic these signs and symptoms. After ruling out these diseases and conditions, as well as the possible effect of medicines or illegal substances, screening moves on to psychological testing.
You can get an informal indication of whether you may have clinical depression by taking the NSC depression screening test, which takes only a few minutes. You can take the test regularly to monitor symptoms over time, and your test answers can be emailed to your doctor or therapist if you wish.
More information on depression tests and screenings for clinicians and patients
There are several paper-and-pencil tests to evaluate severity of depression or treatment progress. Like tests for anxiety, none is a specific diagnostic instrument. The most commonly used is the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Others include the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD). The HRSD is also known as the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS or HAM-D).
The Beck Depression Inventory is a multi-question self-report instrument that measures the severity of depressive symptoms and associated feelings. The BDI, developed by Aaron Beck, was first published in 1961 and revised in 1978 (BDI-1A) to increase ease of use. The BDI-II was developed in 1996 in response to changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for MDD.
The original BDI consists of 21 multiple choice questions that measured intensity of depression over the span of a week. Questions are scored on a scale of 0-3 (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). Questions are compiled into a single score and compared against a depression scale spanning 0-63 (0-9 Minimal depression, 10-18 Mild depression, 19-29 Moderate depression and 30-63 Severe depression). The 1978 revision of the BDI, the BDI-1A, presented a simplified version of the original inventory, but met with criticism because it addressed only six of the nine DSM criteria for depression.
The BDI-II is the third and most current version of this inventory. Questions that focus on changes in body image, hypochondria and difficulty working were replaced. Items for sleep and appetite loss were revised and all but three items were reworded. Those questions that considered persecution, suicidal ideation and sexual interest remained unchanged. Time span for assessment was increased to two weeks from the original one week period.
The BDI-II contains 21 questions and, like the original BDI, each is scored on a scale of 0-3. The scoring interval, however, differs from the original (0–13 Minimal depression, 14–19 Mild depression, 20–28 Moderate depression, 29–63 Severe depression). The BDI-II correlates well with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) establishing validity for both assessments.
The HAM-D is a multiple choice self-report questionnaire also used to rate the severity of observable symptoms of depression, including low mood, insomnia, agitation, anxiety and weight loss. Despite ongoing criticism, it is presently one of the most commonly used scales for rating depression in medical research.
The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale is a short survey that measures the spectrum of depression from normal to severe in persons already diagnosed with a depressive disorder. There are 20 items on the scale—10 positively worded and 10 negatively worded—rating affective, psychological and somatic symptoms associated with depression.
The CES-D is a commonly used tool and assists in the self-evaluation of feelings, behavior and outlook to determine severity of symptom profile and progress in those already diagnosed with a depressive disorder.
The Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) is a ten-item diagnostic questionnaire used to measure severity of depressive episodes in patients previously diagnosed with mood disorders. Like the BDI-II, it correlates well with the HAM-D.
Other inventories include the Wechsler Depression Rating Scale, the Raskin Depression Rating Scale, the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS).
It is important to recognize that none of these instruments, although widely available, are diagnostic tools, or should be employed in the self-evaluation of suspected depression. They should be used only with the participation of a qualified mental health care professional.
To Learn More
Test Review: Beck Depression Inventory – II Catherine Smith & Bradley T. Erford Loyola College
A Rating Scale for Depression Max Hamilton Department of Psychiatry, University of Leeds
Self-Rating Depression Scale in an Outpatient Clinic William W. K. Zung, MD Archives of General Psychiatry
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale L. S. Radloff Center for Epidemiologic Studies