Have you been feeling symptoms of depression? We offer a free online version of the commonly used Depression Screening tool called the PHQ-9. The nine items of the PHQ-9 are based directly on the nine diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the DSM-IV.
The PHQ-9 asks you to rate each of the nine symptoms based on the prevalence of the symptom. The levels include:
Not at all
More than half the days
Nearly every day
By assigning this important information to the various symptoms being experienced it helps a mental health provider to gauge the severity of the symptoms and impairment on daily functioning.
The question is asked, “Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? Here is a list of each symptom:
Little interest or pleasure in doing things. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies usually enjoyed is quite common with depression. Instead of attending social or extracurricular activities, someone who is struggling with depression might isolate themselves and withdraw socially.
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless. Persistent feelings of sadness and despair are central to major depressive disorder. Thoughts tend to be negative, leading to a self-perpetuating low mood.
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much. Insomnia, or the inability to fall or remain asleep, or hypersomnia, which is excessive sleeping, are sleep problems that often affect individuals with depression.
Feeling tired or having little energy. A hallmark symptom of depression is a lack of energy. Many times those with depression do not have the motivation or drive to work or take care of usual obligations. They may feel fatigued regardless of the number of hours of sleep they had.
Poor appetite or overeating. A change in eating habits is also common with depression. This can lead to rapid weight loss or weight gain.
Feeling bad about yourself, or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down. Feelings of shame or guilt, even if it is irrational or inappropriate, often accompany depression.
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television. Cognitive functioning can be impacted by depression. This is noticed when it is more difficult to concentrate or make decisions.
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Slowed motor movements are common with depression. Or the opposite, being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual.
Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself. Suicidal ideation is a very serious matter. This involves persistent thoughts of death or suicide, or thinking that others would be better off without you. If you or a loved one is considering or threatening suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1(800) 273-8255
How Reliable is the PHQ-9?
According to the American Psychological Association, the PHQ-9 is considered to be a consistent and valid tool with sound psychometric properties. This reliable screening tool allows medical and mental health providers to quickly ascertain if a patient is potentially depressed. It is not used to arrive at a final diagnosis, but rather for the purpose of identifying individuals who may need further evaluation or treatment.
Once you have completed the quiz, you will be prompted to enter your contact information, if you would like more information on treatment options please provide information, otherwise, leave the fields blank to submit anonymously.
How is Depression Treated?
Once someone has been diagnosed with depression, a physician or mental health professional will place them on the conventional protocol for treatment of the mental health disorder. This will include:
Antidepressant drug therapy. There are approximately 30 antidepressant medications currently on the market from which the doctor will select. The medications take 4-6 weeks before becoming efficacious, and often dosing will need to be adjusted. If the first antidepressant was not effective, the doctor will select another one for the patient to trial.
Psychotherapy. Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, involves meeting with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to discuss possible underlying issues that may be contributing to the depression. There are several evidence-based therapy modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and others.
TMS therapy. Increasingly, doctors are including adjunctive or holistic therapies to the traditional treatment regimen. TMS therapy is a brain stimulation technique that is noninvasive and effective in treating individuals who were not responsive to the antidepressants. TMS is a drug-free treatment option that can be administered in an office environment. TMS therapy uses electromagnetic energy to help stimulate certain regions of the brain and recalibrate brain chemistry and functioning, alleviating symptoms of depression.
Holistic therapies. Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and regular exercise are also complementary to conventional depression treatment.
Types of Depression
There are several different types of depressive disorders. While each share some common traits, such as some of those included in the PHQ-9, the different types of depression have unique features. These distinctions will help guide the treatment protocols assigned to the depression diagnosis.
Types of depression include:
Major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD affects over 17 million Americans each year, and features a cluster of the symptoms listed in the PHQ-9. When someone has five or more of these symptoms present most of the time and lasting at least two weeks, they will be clinically diagnosed with MDD.
Post-partum depression. Post-partum depression affects 1 in 7 new mothers each year and lasts on average about three months. This form of depression affects a mother’s ability to bond with her baby due to feelings of sadness, intense irritability, mood swings, loss of appetite, insomnia, and thoughts of harming baby or self.
Dysthymia. Dysthymia, or persistent depressive disorder, is a milder but chronic form of MDD that lasts more than two years. Dysthymia features chronically low mood, low self-esteem, loss of interest in activities, reduced appetite, sleep disturbances, problems concentrating, and hopelessness.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD tends to affect individuals who live further away from the equator where sunlight, therefore vitamin D, is limited during specific times of the year. Symptoms include appetite changes, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest, mood swings, and social withdrawal.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a more intensified type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), affecting more than 3 million women each year. Symptoms include mood swings, extreme sadness, irritability, anger, feelings of hopelessness, and insomnia.
Mood disorders. Bipolar disorder II is an affective, or mood, disorder that features extreme and unpredictable shifts between depressive periods and manic periods, with milder manic periods but more severe depressive periods.
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0 to 4 Points:
5 to 9 Points:
10 to 14 Points:
15 to 19 Points:
Moderately severe depression
20 to 27 Points:
If you scored over 10 on the PHQ-9 please contact ANew Era TMS for a free confidential assessment and to receive guidance and help. Call (888) 503-1549.
Question 1 of 9
Little interest or pleasure in doing things?
Question 2 of 9
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
Question 3 of 9
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much?
Question 4 of 9
Feeling tired or having little energy?
Question 5 of 9
Poor appetite or overeating?
Question 6 of 9
Feeling bad about yourself – or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down?
Question 7 of 9
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television?
Question 8 of 9
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed? Or the opposite – being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual?
Question 9 of 9
Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?