Am I Depressed? Depression Self-Test

Read on for the depression self-test and everything you need to know about depression, from signs to treatment options.

Table of Contents

Are you feeling depressed? It is important to know you are not alone, and there is help out there. Over 17 million people are affected by depression each year in the United States.

Unfortunately, stigma and misunderstanding over depression signs can delay treatment. Depression is more than feeling sad; it can severely impact all areas of an individual’s life. However, the good news is that it is treatable, and there are different ways of testing for depression.

One way is to take a depression self-test. If you are experiencing signs of depression, this is a good start point. Below you can take the PHQ-9 Depression self-test, which is one of the most common depression evaluations.

Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) Self-Quiz

In the past 7 days, have you…

Over the past two weeks, how often have you experienced the following symptoms?

Little interest or pleasure in doing things

The PHQ-9 is a multipurpose instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

The depression self-test assesses depression severity by checking your symptoms and their frequency. Questions such as if you have thoughts of hurting yourself can be troubling. So it can be helpful to know the signs of depression to have more understanding.

Depression interferes with your daily functioning in different ways. It affects how you think, feel, and act. Whereas sadness and tiredness pass, depression signs last longer than two weeks.

Not everyone has the same symptoms, but there are common symptoms people experience.

Feelings Triggered by Depression

You can experience different emotions due to depression. You may experience all feelings or only a few.

People can also experience other thoughts related to depression. For example, they may think about being a failure, at fault, or people being better off without them. It is essential to recognize these thoughts are due to depression; they are not true.

Depression is different from sadness and grief. There are some signs of depression that overlap. But depression is persistent with low self-esteem and without positive memories or moments.

Behavioral Signs of Depression

Depression can also impact a person’s daily functioning. They may be unable to carry out responsibilities, such as attending work or childcare.

Substance disorders often co-occur with other mental health disorders, such as depression. For example, 30 to 50 percent of people who drink too much also have depression. Sometimes substances can be a trigger for depression, and sometimes it worsens it.

Physical Signs of Depression

Depression can also cause physical symptoms. It can be why testing for depression is vital to address the causes of symptoms.

Some signs of depression can be caused by other medical problems, such as vitamin deficiency, brain tumors, and thyroid issues. Another reason to seek treatment is to rule out other physical causes. Sometimes physical health conditions also co-occur with depression.

Types of Depressive Disorders

The depression self-test is testing for depression signs. But there are also different types of depression.

If you can identify the type of depression you are experiencing, you can seek the support you need. Symptoms for all types of depressive disorders can range from minor to severe.

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is also known as major depression or unipolar depression. It is the most common form of depression people experience.

Symptoms can come in depressive episodes when symptoms last longer than two weeks. Usually, people experience many episodes, but some only experience one major episode.

Depression can last for weeks, months, or even years. When it persists for two years or longer, it is a persistent depressive disorder. It is also known as dysthymia and chronic clinical depression.

Symptoms may vary over time and worsen. However, with treatment, depression signs can pass, and things get better. The depression self-test can help determine if you are feeling depressed.

Peripartum Depression

Peripartum depression occurs during pregnancy or after childbirth. Around 1 in 8 women experience peripartum depression each year. It is also known as antenatal and postnatal depression or postpartum depression.

It is natural to feel a range of emotions when pregnant and after childbirth. There is a view that it is a joyous and exciting time, which can be the case. But it is also a period of significant change, with difficult emotions.

Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around these difficult emotions. It makes it hard for women to speak up and seek support. It also makes peripartum depression even harder to diagnose.

The symptoms are similar to major depression but related to having a baby. Other signs of peripartum depression include indifference and feeling disconnected from your child. You can take a specific peripartum depression self-test too.

Peripartum depression can cause risk to the mother and child if it is not treated. It is a serious disorder, but with treatment, mother and child can thrive.

Major Depressive Disorder With Seasonal Pattern

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-5) defines seasonal depression (SAD) as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern. You might also know it as winter depression.

A lot of people experience the winter blues. However, SAD is when a person is feeling depressed during winter for two or more years. People with major depression can also experience more episodes during winter.

Psychotic Depression

Psychotic depression is a type of major depression that also includes psychosis. A person experiences auditory or visual hallucinations. The voices often tell the person they are not good enough and voice other depressive beliefs.

There can also be delusions, such as believing they have committed a sin or another illogical belief with no truth in this reality. It is very real for the individual with psychotic depression and can be a terrifying and distressing experience.

Psychotic depression differs from schizophrenia. Hallucinations and delusions connect to depression and occur during a major depressive episode.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD causes depression and other symptoms such as anxiety a week or two before a woman’s period. The symptoms then go away before or once the period begins.

Treatment is similar to treating other forms of depression. It is also essential to learn about your menstrual cycle, which helps identify triggers and relieve symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder features symptoms of clinical depression. It is sometimes called manic depression, and cyclothymic disorder is linked to bipolar.

You experience different episodes with bipolar. During low episodes, you experience symptoms of clinical depression. During mania or hypomania episodes, you have symptoms such as high energy levels, racing thoughts, and take risks.

Causes of Feeling Depressed

There is no one cause for depression. However, environmental factors can increase depression risk. For example, stressful life events, trauma, and substance use can be triggers.

There are also biological causes, such as genetic risk if there is a family history of depression. Severe medical conditions can also cause or perpetuate depression, such as chronic pain. When you seek treatment for depression, you may get more clarity about your contributing factors.

Treatments for Depression

You do not have to accept feeling depressed. Once you have taken the depression self-test, it is time to seek support.

Treatments can improve and remove symptoms. Depression treatment also saves lives. 80% of people treated for depression improve within four to six weeks, with common treatments such as therapy and medication.


Often a doctor will prescribe anti-depressants to help alleviate depression. It can also help an individual seek and respond well to other treatments such as therapy.

There are different types of medication, which act on various neurotransmitters in the brain:

◦ Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
◦ Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
◦ Tricyclic antidepressants
◦ Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
◦ Atypical antidepressants

Only trained medical professionals can prescribe and advise the best option for you. Some people need medication long-term, while others need it for a short time. Always follow the advice of your doctor.

Medication can also have side effects, such as nausea, rash, and low blood sugar. It sometimes takes time to find the right antidepressant for you, and you might have to try a few with your doctor.


Therapy is another effective treatment to treat depression. Therapy is another effective treatment to treat depression. Types of therapy include interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy.

What therapy you have depends on the trained therapist you see and what works best for you. For example, it is common for veterans to experience depression. The therapy they take may depend on if they want to talk and process past experiences or focus on coping skills.

Some ways therapy treats depression include:

◦ Learning triggers for feeling depressed
◦ Replacing behavior that fuels depression with healthy coping mechanisms
◦ Identifying and breaking negative thought patterns
◦ Behavioral activation work
◦ Processing traumatic experiences
◦ Talking about relationships and events that contribute to depression
◦ Developing problem-solving skills
◦ Practicing responding to stressful and unexpected events

The duration of therapy depends on the severity of depression and therapy type. Sometimes people pick different therapies at different points in their life if their needs change. There are also support groups that offer group therapy work.


Self-care can be challenging when you are feeling depressed. However, it can help manage and relieve depression. Self-care actions include:

◦ Getting enough sleep
◦ Exercising regularly
◦ Eating healthily
◦ Keeping to a routine
◦ Sticking to treatment
◦ Keeping in touch with loved ones

Self-care can take practice when you are feeling depressed. But over time, it becomes easier to maintain self-care. Self-care is part of therapy work, and behavioral activation specifically targets your routine.

Specialized Depression Treatments

When you experience treatment-resistant depression, it can be time to look at other treatment options. The good news is that there are options to explore that may work for you. Treatments include:

◦ Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
◦ Hospitalization

Sometimes hospitalization is needed if depression symptoms are severe or a person is at risk of harming themselves. Hospital treatment includes a combination of treatments, such as therapy and medication. People can be day patients or inpatients, depending on depression severity.

ECT is when a patient is put under anesthesia, and electrical currents are applied to the brain, usually over multiple sessions. It stimulates the brain and triggers a brief seizure. In some instances, it can help change brain chemistry and reverse mental health disorders such as depression.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Another specialized treatment option for depression is TMS. It is a non-invasive and painless procedure. It has been FDA-approved for over a decade, and studies show it is a safe and effective treatment option.

An electromagnetic coil is placed on your scalp, and magnetic pulses are then applied. The pulses stimulate your nerve cells in specific brain areas, such as those responsible for mood regulation.

It does not require anesthesia, and there are no significant side effects. Common side effects can include headaches.

Over half the people with treatment-resistant depression see results with TMS. It can relieve depression symptoms, and they may go away completely. Usually, a person needs multiple sessions, and it depends on the individual as to how long the effects last.

It can be effective for all types of depression, including peripartum depression. There are instances when you should avoid TMS. This includes if you have seizures, are on certain medications, or have metal fixtures.

What Next After the Depression Self-Test?

If you are feeling depressed, know you are not alone. There is help out there. After testing for depression with the depression self-test, seek support.

Always get advice from a professional medical professional to treat your depression successfully. A doctor can assess your depression signs and recommend treatments.

Are you feeling depressed and looking for transcranial magnetic stimulation? Inland Empire TMS can help you. Contact us today to start your recovery journey.