Understanding Depression

Depression is a pervasive state that can cripple a person’s ability to function and cause them to view their world with a constant sense of hopelessness and foreboding.  It is a lonely place where one often feels abandoned, and frightened, with little hope of change. Depression can be a catalyst for bad decisions that can only worsen a person’s life.

It’s important to understand that feelings of sadness are normal and part of life’s ups and downs but if they turn to stronger feelings of despair and emptiness, it’s more likely that you’re dealing with depression.

Is Depression Weighing You Down?

The signs and symptoms of depression can vary between men, women, and teenagers. While the rate of depression among women is twice as high as men, men are less likely than women to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing or helplessness and less likely to seek help. As a result, they are at a higher risk of suicide. A teenager’s depression can manifest itself as irritability or grumpiness with an easy loss of temper. Left untreated, teenage depression can lead to more severe problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse as well as the irreversible tragedies of homicide or suicide.

The severity of depression varies from person to person but you should seek help from a licensed psychotherapist if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to function on a regular day-to-day basis.

Complete this self-screening questionnaire* to determine if further clinical evaluation is warranted.

Read each sentence carefully.  For each statement, check the bubble in the column that best corresponds to how often you have felt that way during the past two (2) weeks.  For statements 5 and 7, if you are on a diet, answer as if you were not.

Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale


Convert your Total Raw Score (All Columns) to an SDS Index using the following table:

Depression SDS Conversion Table

Interpreting the SDS Index Score

SDS Index Score

* Please note that the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale is  only a screening tool; it is not a diagnostic device.  The  result from this scale may indicate the need for further clinical evaluation.