Depression Screening

Depression is a sneaky condition. It is characterized by a persisting depressed or sad mood, diminished interest in activities that used to be pleasurable, weight gain/loss, among other symptoms, and inhibits a person's ability to participate in daily meaningful occupations. It has a significant effect on interpersonal relationships, which means that surrounding family members and friends are often affected as well. Depression is also correlated with other adverse health behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and sleep disturbance. Due to an abundance of stigma surrounding the illness, depression often goes unrecognized and untreated. Research also shows that if left untreated or not treated effectively, it often becomes a chronic disease. (CDC, 2011). 

The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) below is a self-administered screening assessment that can assist in diagnosing depression. The 9 questions are based directly on the 9 diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder. The PHQ can also be used to track an individual’s progress. Tally up your score below. 

Score interpretation: A total score of 1-4 indicates minimal depression. A score of 5-9 indicates mild depression. 10-14 indicates moderate depression. 15-19 indicates moderately severe depression. And 20-27 indicates severe depression. 

If you score anything above 1 and would like to learn how occupational/lifestyle therapy can treat depression, please contact me. If you score over 10, please also contact your primary care physician to speak about additional comprehensive treatment options. You can definitely ask for occupational therapy!

Please leave questions and comments below! 

Jessica May 



Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 48. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2008.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Depression. Retrieved from