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Do I Have Major Depressive Disorder?

If you’re experiencing suicidal ideation, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 988.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked depression as the third highest burden of disease — defined as the rate of global mortality, disability, and risk factor for each disease. They project Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to take over as number one within the next eight years. Due to the possible dangerous outcomes, it’s important to diagnose and treat MDD as soon as possible.

What Is Major Depression?

MDD is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of hopelessness, low mood, and lack of ability to feel any pleasure. These episodes must last for at least two weeks, but they often last months on end. Though MDD primarily impacts mood, the symptoms can impair daily functioning. A person with MDD may feel incapable of getting out of bed or performing self-care.

If you think you may have MDD, you’ve likely experienced negative mood symptoms. Luckily, evaluations exist to help confirm or deny your suspicions. In this article, we’ll use the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) as a tool to help you determine if you might have MDD.

Depression Evaluation

Grab a pencil and paper or open a note on your phone. As you go through these statements, evaluate them compared to the last two weeks. Answer each statement with “not at all,” “several days,” “more than half the days,” or “nearly every day.” Record your answers.

  1. I have little interest, motivation, and/or pleasure in activities.
  2. I feel down, hopeless, and/or helpless.
  3. I have trouble sleeping, sleep too much, or a mixture of both.
  4. I feel tired and have little to no energy.
  5. I have no appetite, or I’m hungry all the time.
  6. I have a negative self-image, believe I’m a failure, and/or think I’m letting my loved ones down.
  7. I cannot concentrate on any task.
  8. I move and speak so slowly or so rapidly that other people notice and comment on it.
  9. I think about dying, think about hurting myself, and/or believe I would be better off dead.

Calculating Your Results

Before anything else, you need to know that the first two are mandatory. You must exhibit at least one of the two symptoms for an MDD diagnosis. If you meet that requirement, it’s time to calculate your score. Each answer adds a certain number of points to your overall score. Use the following guidelines to determine your total score.

  • Not at all: 0 points
  • Several days: 1 point
  • More than half the days: 2 points
  • Nearly every day: 3 points

Though some doctors diagnose MDD at 5-10, this is considered mild. Treatment is usually unnecessary. If you ended with a score of 10-14, you fall into the bracket of moderate MDD. 15-19 indicates you have moderately severe MDD. A score of 20-27 points toward severe MDD.

If your results indicated that you have MDD of any severity, it’s important to seek external validation through a doctor. Disorders often overlap, and a correct diagnosis greatly affects your prognosis. With proper MDD treatment, you can live a happy life.

If you’re struggling with major depressive disorder, you might wonder what treatment you need. For people with moderate depression, your mental health disorder may respond well to outpatient individual psychotherapy and group therapy. If you experience moderately severe or severe depression, you may need access to a residential facility, partial hospitalization program, or intensive outpatient program. The Guest House offers all these options and more. We treat you using traditional and holistic therapies. To start your treatment, call (855) 483-7800 today.