The most frequent psychological problem in the United States is depression. Depression is thought to affect twenty percent of the populace in the US. This percentage would amount to roughly sixty million people, an incredible number if it’s even close to being accurate. While depression happens a lot, depression doesn’t get diagnosed a lot. Most people with depression have never been diagnosed. There are also surely many people who believe they’re depressed, but aren’t certain about it.
Though it’s sensible to seek a professional diagnosis if depression is suspected, there are methods for getting an indication of whether depression has taken hold that can be performed entirely on one’s own, outside of any type of clinical environment. These methods specifically take the form of personally assessing depression by participating in a self-assessment test. Self-assessment tests for depression are quite common, and in fact are often used in professional settings during efforts to make a mood disorder diagnosis. Studies have found that people are typically quite honest in answering questions about their mood, and this may be especially true when answering questions in written form.
Depression self-assessment tests aren’t some arbitrary question and answer form: they are typically simple to perform, but have been designed to be exceptionally accurate in testing for depression and are based upon established psychological principles. In addition to asking particular questions about a person’s state, symptom intensity and duration will also be measured by credible depression self-assessment tests. This type of inquiry can often distinguish between genuine depression and other, temporary mood disturbances.
Arguably the most popular of the depression self-assessment tests is the Beck Depression Inventory, or the BDI. The BDI was developed by Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist and well-known practitioner of the popular cognitive therapy form. The BDI came into use in the early 1960’s and in the time since has been put under copyright and used on a large clinical scale. The Beck Depression Inventory is composed of twenty-one questions with four possible responses each, with each response graded from zero to three. The BDI is completed entirely by the individual being assessed for depression, even when the BDI is performed in a clinical setting.
There are other depression self-assessment tests besides the Beck Depression Inventory, with many psychological resources developing their own depression self-assessment tests. Because of the tendency for depression to be expressed in emotional and physical terms, many if not all depression self-assessment tests are broken into assessment for psychological and physical symptoms. The psychological and physical symptom results are then combined to make as accurate of an assessment of depression status as possible.