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Take a Depression Test: Your First Clue for Needing Further Help

A depression test can be a first step to help assess whether you have depression and need further evaluation and treatment. Depression tests can have different purposes such as: 1) being used as an initial screening for depression signs indicating a need for further assessment, 2) helping confirm or diagnose clinical depression, 3) assessing the severity of depressive symptoms and 4) tracking progress (depressive symptoms over time). Tests are either self-administered (paper or online) and or must be given by a health care/mental health provider.

Below are some of the common quizzes used to assess for depression. These tests are grouped by 1) self-tests (ones you can take yourself), 2) free online tests and 3) questionnaires given by health care/mental health providers in a medical office setting. All tests are for adults unless otherwise indicated.

Caution: If you take a depression quiz and score high enough to indicate depression, see a health care/mental health professional right away. These tests do not take the place of proper evaluation and assessment by a qualified health care/mental health provider. It is a good idea to print out your test responses and results and bring them to your appointment. If you feel like hurting yourself, call a 24 hour crisis hotline (800-273-8255 or 800-784-2433), call “911” or go to the nearest emergency room.

Depression Self-Tests

For those wondering “What depression tests can I take?” below are several quizzes you can access immediately. Just print out a test and answer all questions. Then follow the instructions for scoring.

Zung Depression Scale

  • Description/Purpose: A 20 questions screening test assessing depression symptoms in the past two weeks. Takes 10 minutes to complete. Comes in various languages such as Chinese, Czech, Farsi, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Russian and Thai.
  • Scoring: 50-69 is the common range for people with depression. 70 or higher indicates severe depression (range 20-80).
  • Cost/Source: Free copy of Zung

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)

  • Description/Purpose: Developed by Lenore S. Radloff in 1977. 20 questions quiz which assesses symptoms of depression for the past week and need for further assessment. This test is also used to track weekly progress and is available in a short form (10 questions).
  • Scoring: 16+ points may indicate depression. Short Form - 10+ points may indicate depression.
  • Cost/Source: Free copy of CES-D

Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)

  • Description/Purpose: A 30 questions screening test for depression in older adults. Quiz also comes in a short form (15 questions) and available in 20+ various languages (e.g. Spanish, Chinese, French and more).
  • Scoring: 10-19 = Mild Depression, 20-30 = Severe Depression. For the Short Form, 4-10 = Mild Depression, 10-14 = Severe Depression
  • Cost/Source: Free copy of GDS

Free Depression Tests Online

Here is an easy and fast way to take a “Am I depressed?” quiz. Fill in your answer for each question and hit the appropriate button for results. Scoring is done automatically and your results will be displayed immediately. Make sure you fill in all test questions.

Depression-screening.org

  • Description/Purpose: Brief 9 questions test addressing depressive signs over the past two weeks.
  • Scoring: Quiz results will indicate likelihood of depression (mild, moderate, severe) and need for further evaluation and treatment.
  • Source: Sponsored by the Mental Health Association

Anxiety and Depression Screening Test

This test has been included because anxiety often accompanies depression. Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common mental health illnesses.

  • Description/Purpose: Screening questions to assess for various anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Scoring: At end of quiz, results indicate which anxiety disorders you may be experiencing.
  • Source: Freedomfromfear.org

Goldberg Depression Questionnaire

  • Description/Purpose: Quiz consisting of 18 questions which assess for depression signs over the past week. Used to determine further need for evaluation and treatment and to track mood weekly.
  • Scoring: 54+ = Severely Depressed, 36-53 = Moderate to Severe, 22-35 = Mild to Moderate, 18-21 = Borderline Depressed, 10-17 = Possible Mild Depression, 0-9 = Likely Not Depressed
  • Source: MentalHelp.net

Wakefield Depression Questionnaire

  • Description/Purpose: 12 test items assessing depressive signs you are feeling now.
  • Scoring: 15+ points indicates a need for a further assessment by a mental health professional.
  • Source: About.com

Tests Given By Health Care/Mental Health Professionals

Like the self-administered tests above, individuals fill out the questionnaire based on their experience, but these tests are obtained or given by a health care provider. The two exceptions below are the Hamilton Depression Scale and Cornell Dysthymia Rating Scale, which are completed by a health care provider. These tests have also been used in research studies.

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

  • Description/Purpose: Developed by Dr. Aaron Beck and one of the most commonly used depression questionnaires by health care/mental health providers and researchers. This 21 multiple-choice test assesses severity of depressive symptoms in the past two weeks and need for further assessment and treatment. Takes 5 minutes to complete. There have been three revisions (the latest BDI-II in 1996). Also available in Spanish.
  • Scoring: The higher the total score the more severe the depression symptoms, which are classified as minimal (0-13), mild (14-19), moderate (20-28) and severe (29-63).
  • Audience: Latest version - individuals aged 13 to 80
  • Cost/Source: 25 forms is $42. Manual plus 25 forms is $79. 100 forms is $152. Test must be purchased by the publisher, Harcourt Assessment.

The Depression-Arkansas Scale (D-ARK)

  • Description/Purpose: Developed by Dr. G. Richard Smith at al. at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. This brief instrument (11 questions) assesses major depressive disorder, symptom severity in the past four weeks and need for depression treatment. Takes less than five minutes to complete.
  • Scoring: Test results are categorized into symptom severity level: minimal (0-8), mild (9-12), moderate (13-18) and severe (19+).
  • Cost/Source: Free for use by health care/mental health providers. Published by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)

  • Description/Purpose: Developed for women who have recently given birth, this 10 questions depression screening assesses for depressive signs in the previous 7 days and detects need for further evaluation. Quiz takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
  • Scoring: 9+ points or indication of suicidal thinking (score of 1+ on question 10) indicates a need for further assessment by a health care/mental health provider.
  • Cost/Source: Free EPDS

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)

  • Description/Purpose: 21 questions to assess severity of symptoms in individuals who have been diagnosed with depression. The test is filled out by a health care professional and used to help monitor and manage depression.
  • Scoring: Higher scores indicate more severe depression
  • Cost/Source: Free from GlaxoWellcome

Cornell Dysthymia Rating Scale (CDRS)

  • Description/Purpose: Developed by Mason at al. to assess dysthymia symptoms (less severe chronic depression). The 20 test items are rated by a health care professional.
  • Scoring: Higher scores indicate greater dysthymia symptoms

 

 

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The depression information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. This information should not replace proper evaluation and diagnosis of depression by a mental health professional. Before taking any action, please consult with a mental health professional. Please see Terms of Use for more information.

 
 

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