Do you feel sad or down occasionally? If so, that’s normal. But if your sadness lingers, if chronically unhappy and negative, and perhaps even suicidal, then you may be suffering from clinical depression.
But sometimes it’s not that cut and dry. Sometimes your symptoms fall somewhere in between. So how do you know if your “blues” are normal, or if you are truly suffering from some form of depression?
Google is trying to help people who may be depressed but are unwilling or unable to seek medical advice. They have collaborated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and offer an online questionnaire that targets people who look for the word “depression” or “clinical depression” in Google’s search engine.
According to NAMI:
“Clinical depression is a very common condition. In fact, approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime.”
However, only around 50% of people who suffer from the condition actual receive treatment.
So Google decided to design a short evaluated that can assist people to identify whether or not they are experiencing clinical depression. The search results will reveal information about depression with a link to a series of questions, called the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 or PHQ-9.
Keep in mind that only a mental health experts can diagnose depression, these professional use many of the same questions to identify a patient’s depression. Still, the PHQ-9 can be a good start to help people identify whether or not they should seek help.
“We hope that by making this information available on Google, more people will become aware of depression and seek treatment to recover and improve their quality of life.”
How To Use Google’s Depression Questionnaire
Using your mobile device, simply search for “depression” in Google’s search engine, and you will see results that show a description of depression. Below this is a message that says “Check if you’re clinically depressed.”
The link only appears for mobile devices and tablets. If you are on a computer, search for “PHQ-9” instead.
You can also access the questionnaire here.
Click “Get Started” to begin. The test takes only about 5 minutes to complete. At the test’s conclusion, you will see a list from 1 to 27, showing you how likely are to have clinical depression symptoms. The site then directs you what to do next, based on your results.
Keep in mind that PHQ-9 was intended for adults, not children.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A, Psychology