Is Taking A Depression Quiz Effective?

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated May 15, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
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According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an estimated 9.5% of Americans will experience a depressive illness in any given year. Additionally, many Americans are living with more than one mental disorder at a given time. Particularly, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance use or anxiety disorders.

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can greatly interfere with the quality of a person’s life. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is known to be linked to a number of physical health concerns including coronary artery disease.

In this article, we will explore the symptoms of depression and the effectiveness of various depression quizzes and self-assessments. 

Living with depression symptoms?

What is depression?

Depression is classified as a common but serious mood disorder that majorly affects how a person thinks and feels. Symptoms of depression tend to disrupt a person’s ability to function as they normally would and often make it difficult to do everyday things like work, sleep, and handle other daily activities. 

In the medical sphere, depression is typically referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include: 

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness 
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease even with treatment
  • Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide

It is important to note that not everyone living with depression will experience all of these symptoms. Some people may experience few, while others may experience many. Additionally, there are multiple types of depression including: 

  • Major Depression: Includes symptoms of depression most of the time for at least 2 weeks that typically interfere with one’s ability to work, sleep, study, and eat.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia: Often includes less severe symptoms of depression that last much longer, typically for at least 2 years.
  • Perinatal Depression: Occurs when a person experiences major depression during pregnancy or after delivery.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Typically comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall and early winter and going away during spring and summer.
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: A severe form of depression where a person experiences psychosis symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations.

What causes depression? 

To identify the root cause of depression, it is typically most effective to work with a doctor or mental health professional. While depression can exist on its own, it often co-occurs with other physical or mental health conditions. 

Some of the more common causes of depression include: 

  • Stressful life events such as the loss of a loved one, or the breakdown of a relationship. 
  • Family history, such as the existence of depression and other mental health conditions within your immediate family. 
  • Past trauma or persistent lack of self-esteem.
  • Substance use disorders. 
  • Certain illnesses including cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, or diabetes. 

There are a number of additional mental health conditions that include the existence of major depression disorder. Depressive periods or episodes are particularly common in those with bipolar disorder.  


The effectiveness of depression quizzes

If you feel you are living with symptoms of depression, you may be curious to see if a quiz or self-assessment can help. First and foremost, it is important to remember that no online quiz or self-report can take the place of a formal, medical diagnosis. 

While there are many depression quizzes available online, the most effective ones are typically administered by mental health professionals directly. Still, organizations like Mental Health America offer free screening tools and resources such as this depression quiz.

While it is not advised to rely on online quiz results in place of a medical diagnosis, taking a depression quiz or self-assessment can serve as a helpful guide in determining the next steps, or in describing symptoms to your doctor or therapist. 

The benefits of online therapy

It is likely that seeking a formal depression diagnosis will require a different process for each individual due to a number of factors, including location, getting medical care, and other variables. 

Oftentimes, online therapy can serve as a great place to start in the process of seeking help and treatment for symptoms of depression. An online therapist or mental health professional may be able to guide you through your specific process, as well as provide support and guidance throughout your journey. 

The effectiveness of online therapy

According to research, online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or “talk therapy” is proven to be equally as effective as in-person therapy when it comes to the reduction of symptoms of certain mental health conditions, including depression.

Additionally, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often utilized in the treatment of major depressive disorder and has proven to be effective. 

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Living with depression symptoms?


If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to remember you are not alone. While there are a number of depression quizzes available online, it is typically best to consult your doctor or a mental health professional for guidance in the diagnostic and treatment processes.
Depression is treatable, and you're not alone
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