Google launches 5-minute quiz to see if you're clinically depressed

September 7, 2017 by Ethan Baron, The Mercury News

With 7 percent of American adults and 13 percent of adolescents believed to suffer from major depression, Google has just made it easy to check to see if you're afflicted with this mental illness.

The Mountain View search giant has just launched a tool for mobile devices that, with a one-word search and a couple of clicks, connects you to a clinically certified questionnaire that can tell you if it appears you have .

The process starts with a Google search for "," which brings up a box with an option to "check if you're clinically depressed." That takes you to the PHQ-9 "depression screening tool," a five-minute, nine-question questionnaire described by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as "a reliable and valid measure of " and "a useful clinical and research tool."

"Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person's life," said Mary Giliberti, CEO of Google partner the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in an Aug. 23 guest post on Google's blog.

"The PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis."

The questionnaire asks users questions about their life in the previous two weeks, such as how often they've had "little interest in doing things" and how often they've felt "down, depressed or hopeless." Sleep patterns are also probed, along with feelings of tiredness, poor appetite or overeating, poor concentration ability, and thoughts of self harm.

Results from a recent test, with every question answered with for "several days" in the two weeks produced a result of "mild clinical depression is likely."

Under that result is a "What this means" section, that said, "You may feel more stress in your life than usual" and advises that a doctor or mental health professional could help if the feelings persist or it's a matter of personal concern.

Answering "More than half the days" for every question brought a result saying moderately severe clinical depression was likely, and that therapy and medication could help.

Answering "Nearly every day" for every question produced a result of likely severe clinical depression, and made the same advice about therapy and medication.

Google told The Verge that the test isn't intended to replace a medical evaluation but rather to steer users to one if their results indicate possible depression.

The company said Aug. 23 the tool would be available on mobile across the country in the following day or so.

Google said that although some anonymized data from a user's answers could be used to improve the user's experience, the company would not store the answers or result.

Somewhat ironically, the launch comes as smartphones have been identified recently as a possible cause of teen depression.

Explore further: Google search for 'depression' now to provide screening test

5 shares

Related Stories

Google search for 'depression' now to provide screening test

August 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—Web search giant Google is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to make depression screening a part of a search for 'depression' on the site.

New research could take hopelessness out of depression

December 5, 2016
People with depression can't even imagine what it feels like to not be depressed.

Clinical interviews effective in predicting postpartum depression

March 20, 2017
For non-depressed, pregnant women with histories of major depressive disorder, preventive treatment with antidepressants may not necessarily protect against postpartum depression, according to new UCLA research. In addition, ...

Heart failure patients with depression have four times risk of death

March 19, 2013
Heart failure patients who are moderately or severely depressed have four times the risk of dying and double the risk of having to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized compared to those who are not depressed, according ...

Two-item questionnaire proves to be a valid depression screening tool for radiation therapy patients

September 23, 2013
Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) who are potentially suffering from depression can be effectively identified by a two-item questionnaire, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation ...

Simple, two-question survery accurately screens cancer patients for depression

September 23, 2013
Cancer patients can be accurately screened for major depression with a simple two-question survey, according to a study presented Sept. 23 at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 55th Annual Meeting.

Recommended for you

Babies can learn that hard work pays off

September 21, 2017
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. A new study from MIT reveals that babies as young as 15 months can learn to follow this advice. The researchers found that babies who watched an adult struggle at two different ...

Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression

September 21, 2017
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of ...

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

September 20, 2017
Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in ...

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

September 20, 2017
Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait ...

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

September 20, 2017
In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

Self-control may not diminish throughout the day

September 20, 2017
After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.