Thursday, 20 March 2014

Stress and depression tests.

After my recent trip to the doctor I was referred  to my local psychology unit. I called them and arranged to go in for a chat. Their approach is based on a Stepped-Care LIFT (Least Intervention First Time) model. This means that they offer services in a tiered approach where the most commonly helpful support is tried first.

Part of this visit involved tests for anxiety/stress and depression. I've found these tests on-line so that any readers wishing to assess themselves can do so.

The Generalised Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7) is described as an easy to use self-administered patient questionnaire is used as a screening tool and severity measure for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Scores of 5, 10, and 15 are taken as the cut off points for mild, moderate, and severe anxiety, respectively. When this is used as a screening tool, further evaluation is recommended when the score is 10 or greater.

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) is described as an easy to self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. It is noted that it is *not* a screening tool for depression but is used to monitor the severity of depression and response to treatment. However, it can be used to make a tentative diagnosis of depression in at-risk populations. People can draw their own conclusions about if long term health conditions are "at risk". The scores give an indication of depression severity as follows: 0-4 none, 5-9 mild, 10-14 moderate, 15-19 moderately severe, 20-27 severe.

I scored "moderate" on the anxiety and "mild" on the depression. My next step is to go on a "stress and mood management" course. Which I'll report back on after.

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