Google offers test for depression

Google, How Depressed Am I?

Google, How Depressed Am I?

Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to roll out the feature, the groups announced on the Google blog earlier this week. The self-assessment is private and is meant to help steer people who might be depressed toward in-person evaluations. The clinically validated test, called PHQ-9, asks about energy, appetite and concentration levels, among other things. Now, if you search the terms "depression" or "clinical depression", the first result which comes up at the top, within the Knowledge Card, will offer you the option to check your symptoms and find out if you are clinically depressed.

The organization hopes that by making the questionnaire easily available on Google, more people will become aware of their own illness and seek treatment. The famous search engine will now have a new gold standard questionnaire which is said to be developed in collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NIMA). So, half of the people do not even seek treatment. People can do with the results what they like, but NAMI hopes the test will at least arm users with basic info that might serve as the impetus to get help, or to take the results to a doctor. It's unclear how much of these are about mental health. Dr. Michael Thase, a professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is of the opinion that while there might be some false results to the test, Google's initiative represents a good idea as it can represent a simple and reliable way to screen for depression.

"Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a 6- to 8-year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms", according to Giliberti. This way, you can privately self-assess to determine the level of depression.

Clinical depression is known to affect 1 in 5 of Americans and individuals with depression symptoms usually wait six to eight years before seeking professional help. The questionnaire that bears the name PHQ-9 is anonymous and has been clinically validated. "Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person's life".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.