What does this tool help you learn?
This interactive tool can help you assess your symptoms and find out if you might have depression. It calculates how many common symptoms of depression you have and—based on your answers—suggests where you might be on a scale from not depressed to depressed.
Although this tool is not for diagnosis, it may help you find out whether you should seek help from your doctor.
PHQ-9 copyright 2005, Pfizer, permission granted. The PHQ-9 assessment is adapted from PRIME MD TODAY and developed by RL Spitzer, JBW Williams, K Kroenke, et al.
What does your score mean?
The more symptoms of depression you have, the higher your score will be. Your score will appear as one of the following:
- You are unlikely to have depression.
- You may have mild to moderate depression.
- You may have moderate to severe depression.
- You may have severe depression.
As with all screening tools, this tool gives you a place to start. Keep in mind that a higher score does not necessarily mean that you have depression. Also, a lower score does not always mean you are depression-free. This tool can help you examine your feelings and think about whether your symptoms might be symptoms of depression. But using this tool is not a substitute for a thorough evaluation by your doctor. If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, seek medical help.
If your symptoms include plans or thoughts about harming yourself or another person, detachment from reality (psychosis), or excessive use of alcohol or drugs, contact your doctor or local hospital for help right away.
Many people with depression delay seeking medical advice and treatment because they believe depression is not serious or they think they can get through it, or even beat it, on their own. Sometimes people who are deeply depressed feel that nothing will help. But like other major health problems, depression cannot be overcome without treatment. In fact, untreated depression can get worse, cause other health problems, and may last for years or even a lifetime. It can have a serious impact on both you and the people you care about.
With treatment such as counseling and medicines, the symptoms of even major depression may begin to improve in a few weeks. The choice to seek evaluation and treatment is a very important first step on the path to feeling better. For more information, see the topic Depression.
Current as of: January 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock MD - Psychiatry