Do you really need to take an automated online depression test?
I suspect you’re feeling pretty lousy at the moment if you’re looking to take an online depression test. So, let me start by reassuring you. You can overcome the troubles you’re having right now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!
On this page, you’ll find the depression checklist I’ve used throughout my 25+ years as a qualified counsellor. The questions will help you to identify your own specific issues, and determine whether you’re suffering from depression.
There are, of course, various standardised depression tests used by other professional healthcare providers. However, I find they tend to lean a little too quickly and heavily towards recommending medication as the first course of action.
But oftentimes, medication isn’t really needed at all. We’re all born with the strengths and resources we need to help and heal ourselves emotionally. It can be tricky to know where to start - but that’s why I’m here :-)
Wondering if your partner or spouse is depressed?
If you’re here because you’ve noticed your partner hasn’t seemed quite ‘right’ lately, this depression checklist can help you too. Firstly, you can consider the questions alongside any changes in their behaviour that you’ve noticed. Then I’d encourage you to share this online depression test with them.
They may get angry or touchy if you try to talk to them about it from a standing start. But giving them the opportunity to think about their own feelings in light of the questions below can be a great first step.
A note of caution: if your partner is depressed, the most valuable thing you can offer is support. Don’t tell them what to do, when to do it or how. They’ll need to be actively involved in all stages of their recovery - including deciding to start recovering in the first place.
Of course, this can leave you feeling frustrated, helpless and endlessly on the receiving end of their bad moods. But, trust me when I say the very worst thing you can do is try and take over! That would simply make them feel even more useless and out of control.
Even if you're at your wits' end because your loved one has lost the ability to concentrate on what you're saying, or to raise a smile, or to appreciate any of the good moments in life, try to accept that all these things are part of the illness."
Just before we get started...
I want to talk about the word, ‘depression’. It can be a scary word. It can conjure up all kinds of thoughts about a difficult recovery. Probably most people also immediately think they’ll have to start taking antidepressants to get better.
But, try to remember, it’s just a word. And essentially, it just means that - for whatever reason - you are (or your partner is) feeling really low at the moment. And that you might need a little help to get better. It doesn’t have to mean anything more than that.
What’s important to me, and what I care about very much, is how quickly we can get you feeling better again. If it helps, you can turn the questions in my depression checklist below into an imaginary conversation with me (or a trusted friend).
I know it can be hard to concentrate when you’re feeling below par - so take your time. There’s no rush. We can have as many imaginary cups of (herbal) tea as it takes :-)
Do you suspect you have 'dodgy genes'?
Just in case you think you probably suffer from depression because one or both of your parents did, watch this video…
Full online depression test
Your first step: prepare your environment. Make sure you can go through the questions without being disturbed. Don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble coming up with any of the answers. No-one’s watching and no-one’s judging you. Take your time. Sit comfortably. And take a deep breath.
Ready? Let’s go.
About your sleep
Sleep disturbance is one the most significant warning signs of depression. Ironically, good sleep is absolutely vital for mental health. It’s a catch-22!
- Often wake up very early in the morning?
- Have wild, vivid and often disturbing dreams?
- Find it hard to fall asleep?
- Wake up in the night with thoughts constantly whirring through your mind?
- Wake up in the morning feeling exhausted, as if you’d had no sleep at all?
- Find it difficult to 'get going' and motivate yourself when you get up?
- Sleep excessively?
Your day-to-day life
Perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re struggling more than usual. Maybe things that you previously did on autopilot are suddenly requiring monumental effort.
- Find it hard to deal with the simplest of tasks?
- Feel that everything is just ‘too much’
- Feel as though you just 'can't be bothered' with it all?
Your activities / interests / hobbies
Engaging in a variety of enjoyable activities and hobbies is vital to overall well-being and satisfaction.
- Have you stopped doing the things you used to enjoy?
- Are you struggling to motivate yourself?
- Are you increasingly withdrawing from people and activities around you?
Your friends and family
Depression can test all of your relationships - at home, work and socially - to the limit.
- Snapping at everyone, and then feeling guilty about it?
- Avoiding your friends?
- Constantly angry with your partner/children with very little reason to be?
- Avoiding people in general?
- Finding it harder to 'connect' with people?
- Easily agitated or very irritable?
Depression is like a prison, where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer."
Dorothy Rowe, clinical psychologist and writer
Your thoughts and feelings
Perhaps the most important section of this online depression test - how you’re feeling right now, and what you’re finding yourself thinking about.
- Feeling miserable as sin? Low, listless and lost?
- Worrying about the slightest thing (or just everything)?
- Feeling 'cut off' from your feelings, or like you’re 'living in a bubble'?
- Feeling guilty a lot of the time?
- Thinking a lot about death and dying lately?
- Feeling your emotions are out of control?
- Or feeling like everything is out of control?
- Crying at the drop of a hat?
- Feeling sad a lot of the time?
- Finding it hard to make a decision - any decision?
- Feeling hopeless?
- Losing your self-esteem before your very eyes?
- Wanting to hide behind the sofa rather than opening the front-door?
- Avoiding answering the ‘phone or opening the post?
- Losing your sense of humour? (Or have you lost it altogether?)
- Feeling lonely?
- Unable to think straight?
If you have a job, work can take up a huge amount of your time. Needless to say, the effects of depression will be noticeable in the workplace too.
- Snappy with your colleagues?
- Being less productive than you used to be?
- Finding it difficult to concentrate?
- Becoming very forgetful?
- Worried that people can 'look in' and discover that you’re not your usual self?
- Often on the verge of tears at work, or even crying? (Oh... the embarrassment if so!)
- Finding it harder to make decisions, and worrying more what people might think of you?
- Starting to avoid particular situations?
- Finding it hard to be enthusiastic anymore?
Other depression warning signs and symptoms
In general, have you noticed that...
- Your weight has dramatically increased or dropped, because you’ve lost interest in looking after yourself?
- Your appetite has changed? (You’re not hungry at all, or you eat all the time?)
- You feel tired all the time?
- You’ve become generally overactive or underactive?
So, what does it all mean for you?
The more questions you answered with a ‘yes’, the more likely it is that you’re depressed. (Remember, it’s just a word - so don’t panic!)
If we’d been having a face-to-face conversation, I wouldn’t have needed to ask you all of those questions. We’d have uncovered the underlying issues sooner than that.
But, taking a depression test online, like this one, is a really positive first step towards getting better. Why? Firstly, because it means you’re taking action. You’re trying to find out how you feel. And secondly, because it allows you the time and space to figure out why you feel the way you do.
Unless you know what’s wrong, you can’t start to fix anything.
And in my professional experience, the majority of my clients with depression were able to fix themselves. They didn’t need medication. Once they knew what was wrong, they knew how to (start to) make it right again.
Of course, I’m not saying it’s as easy as simply clicking your fingers and then, as if by magic, being recovered. (Sadly!) But, by investing time and energy in yourself, you can start the healing process.
You don't have to do it alone
Depending on the severity of your depression, you may need a helping hand to get you started. Remember: there is no shame in this.
If you have friends and family to support you, lean on them. Think about counselling, too. Talking therapy is a really effective treatment for depression. It doesn’t even need to be face-to-face if the thought of that is too much to bear. Take a look at my page about online depression counselling - you can get help right from the comfort of your own home.
I know you too can beat this depression. And there are so many resources freely available right here on my site that can help you. You’ve already taken the first step by completing this online depression test.
The next step? Figure out what’s making you unhappy.
- Are you having relationship problems?
- Are you being bullied? See: Signs of emotional abuse.
- Are you bored?
- Do you suffer from a low self-esteem? See: How to build self-esteem.
- Do you have an addiction? I have also written articles about the stages of alcoholism, porn addiction and shopping addiction.
There are countless things that you may feel unhappy about and possibly can't begin to address because they are out of your control.
What you do have a good measure of control over is your marriage. So, do open up to someone you trust and ask for relationship advice.
You also have control over how you respond to things that get you down - see my article on how to treat depression without medication.
Believe that you *can* beat that depression. I'm rooting for you!
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*Webber, C. Depression – how it affects sex and relationships. Via NetDoctor