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Harvard Commentaries
35320
Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Depression Self-Assessment


April 29, 2014

Are you depressed? Take the depression assessment.

Depression has many causes and influences people in unique ways. We all have our days when we feel sad, exceptionally tired or are having trouble sleeping. Fortunately, these episodes usually don't last long. When symptoms like these last for two weeks or more, it may be a sign of a significant, or "major" depression.

At this time, there are no blood tests or X-rays that can tell if someone is depressed. The best way to make a diagnosis of major depression is to carefully examine how you feel and discuss this with your doctor. There are several questionnaires available to help you and your doctor decide if you have depression that should be treated. It is important to find this out because the treatment for depression is very effective.

Take the depression assessment. Take your time, answer the questions as honestly as you can, and carefully read the report at the end.

This tool is based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.  It is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for a professional medical assessment.  Your responses are collected as anonymous, aggregated information and can be used for research purposes.

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale

 


Consider your feelings of the past week when responding to questions.

What is your sex? Male
Female
How old are you? <16
16-29
30-45
46-60
> 60
What is your home zip code?
Which of the following best describes you? Asian
Black or African-American
Latino/Latina or Hispanic
Native American or American Indian
Pacific Islander
White
Other

 

 
RARELY or NONE of the time.
 
SOME or a LITTLE of the time.
OCCASIONALLY or a MODERATE amount of the time.
MOST or ALL of the time.
DURING THE PAST WEEK
(Less than 1 day)
(1-2 days)
(3-4 days)
(5-7 days)
1. I was bothered by things that don't usually bother me.
2. I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor.
3. I felt that I could not shake off the blues even with the help of my family or friends.
4. I felt that I was just as good as other people.
5. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing.
 
RARELY or NONE of the time.
SOME or a LITTLE of the time.
OCCASIONALLY or a MODERATE amount of the time.
MOST or ALL of the time.
DURING THE PAST WEEK
(Less than 1 day)
(1-2 days)
(3-4 days)
(5-7 days)
6. I felt depressed
7. I felt everything I did was an effort.
8. I felt hopeful about the future.
9. I thought my life had been a failure.
10. I felt fearful.
 
RARELY or NONE of the time.
SOME or a LITTLE of the time.
OCCASIONALLY or a MODERATE amount of the time.
MOST or ALL of the time.
DURING THE PAST WEEK
(Less than 1 day)
(1-2 days)
(3-4 days)
(5-7 days)
11. My sleep was restless.
12. I was happy.
13. I talked less than usual.
14. I felt lonely.
15. People were unfriendly.
 
RARELY or NONE of the time.
SOME or a LITTLE of the time.
OCCASIONALLY or a MODERATE amount of the time.
MOST or ALL of the time.
DURING THE PAST WEEK
(Less than 1 day)
(1-2 days)
(3-4 days)
(5-7 days)
16. I enjoyed life.
17. I had crying spells.
18. I felt sad.
19. I felt that people disliked me.
20. I could not get "going".

From: Radloff LS. The CES-D Scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population.Appl Psychol Meas. 1977; 1:385-401. Copyright © 1977, West Publishing Company/Applied Psychological Measurement, Inc. Reproduced by permission.


More About the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD)

The CESD is a questionnaire developed in the 1970s to detect major or clinical depression. The questions are easy to answer and cover most of the areas included in the diagnostic criteria for depression. The questionnaire has been completed by thousands of individuals in primary care offices and from their homes. Almost 85% of those found to have depression after an in-depth structured interview with a psychiatrist will have a high score on the CESD. However, about 20% of those who score high on the CESD will have rapid resolution of their symptoms and not meet full criteria for major or clinical depression. Therefore, it is necessary to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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