Note: Do not use the information on these pages as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a professional health care provider.

This quick, simple self-test can help distinguish between clinical depression and the normal fluctuations of mood experienced from time to time by most people. Sadness is a normal part of life, but sometimes when sadness persists, it becomes what mental health authorities call the nation’s leading psychological problem, clinical depression, also known as major depression.

If you answer “yes” to more than two of the following questions, you may well be clinically depressed. Consult your physician or a mental health professional for a thorough assessment and treatment.

1) Much of the time do you feel…

2) Much of the time do you…
Have difficulty making decisions?
Have trouble concentrating?
Have memory problems?

3) Lately have you…
Lost interest in things that used to give you pleasure?
Had problems at work or in school?
Had problems with your family or friends?
Isolated yourself from others? Or wanted to?

4) Lately have you…
Felt like you have low energy?
Felt restless and irritable?
Had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up in the morning?
Lost your appetite? Or gained weight?
Been bothered by persistent headaches, stomach aches or back aches? Muscle or joint pains?

5) Lately have you…
Been drinking more alcohol than you used to?
Been taking more mood-altering drugs than you used to?
Engaged in risky behavior? (e.g., not wearing a seat belt, crossing streets without looking, driving faster than normal)

6) Lately, have you been thinking about…
Hurting yourself?
Your funeral?
Killing yourself?

For Emergencies: Hotline of SLO County……..548-8989 (2