• It may come and stay for a long period of time (weeks, months, even years).

  • It may come for no apparent reason –that is, no cause that you can find in the outside world.

 

Depression is more than just being in a bad mood – it’s a serious condition that may affect your physical and mental health.

Depression 1.png
Everyone feels sad or down from time-to-time...

but depression is different, it’s more intense.

Here are some behaviours to look out for in yourself or others:

Not getting things done

Spending less time outside

Social withdrawal

Over relying on alchohol and sedatives.

Unable to concentrate

Not feeling joy or enjoying normal activities

Anxiety 1.png

​These changes in behaviour may also come with very negative thoughts like “I’m a failure” or “I’ve let everyone down” or “I’m worthless”. In depression, most thoughts turn negative in the end.

For expats in a foreign country depression poses difficulties because it’s easy to feel isolated and alone when you’re overseas. Expat networks are small and often work-related, making it difficult to be vulnerable with friends and colleagues.

 

Gossip is also a factor that expats tend to worry about.

If you think you are experiencing depression then complete this quick, easy and confidential checklist below. The checklist doesn’t diagnose you (you need a doctor or psychologist for that). But it will help you determine whether you need to take further action and how urgently to act.

 

Do I have depression?

DEPRESSION CHECKLIST

This quick checklist will ask you to reflect on your feelings over the past week. It is 9 questions that measure how recently and frequently you’ve had symptoms for depression in the last two week.

Please read each statement and choose a response that shows how much the statement applied to you over the last week. There are no right or wrong answers. Do not spend too much time on any one statement.

Not at all  -  Did not apply to me at all over the past two week.

Several days  -  Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time in the past week.

More than half the days  -  Applied to me a considerable degree, or a good part of the time.

Nearly every day  -  Applied to me very much, or most of the time.

The depression checklist provided here is called the ‘PHQ-9’. It is used by doctors, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to determine what level of support is needed for someone with depression.*

 

RESULTS

 

Scores below 4 suggest minimal to no depression and no treatment is required. If you’ve felt more depression than this in the past, it makes sense to repeat this test in a week or two.

This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm you need to act now. If you are not safe and don’t trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk. Do not reach out to me through this site and wait for a response as we don’t provide emergency services.

Scores from 5-9 suggest mild depression which may require only watching waiting and repeating the PHQ-9 again in a week or two. Your results suggest you may be having some difficulty with life tasks because of how you feel. If you’ve felt more depressed than this in the past, then it makes sense to reach out to a mental health profession. Early intervention can help to prevent progression to more extreme depression later on.

This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm you need to act now. If you are not safe and don’t trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk. Do not reach out to me through this site and wait for a response as we don’t provide emergency services.

Scores from 10-14 suggest moderate depression severity. You need a treatment plan that should include counselling and a follow-up set of ‘homework’ activities to train your brain for feeling better. You may also need medication to assist you. Your results show that you are having difficulty with life tasks because of how you feel. You need counselling, a support network and perhaps medication to get you relief quickly.

This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm you need to act now. If you are not safe and don’t trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk. Do not reach out to me through this site and wait for a response as we don’t provide emergency services.

Score from 15-19 suggest moderately severe depression. You need immediately help that includes medication and psychotherapy through counselling support. Your results show that you need immediate help and that you shouldn’t wait to feel worse, before reaching out. You are having significant difficulty with tasks of everyday living. You need a psychiatric assessment, along with medication and counselling support. You need to tell someone that you’re feeling this way and build a support network that can help, when you need it.

This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm you need to act now. If you are not safe and don’t trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk. Do not reach out to me through this site and wait for a response as we don’t provide emergency services.

 

Scores above 20 indicate severe depression. Act now to seek psychiatric assessment and medication. Urgently move to seek the help of a mental health specialist, including a counsellor or psychologist. You are having extreme difficulty with tasks of everyday living right now. You are having suicidal thoughts that need further investigation. If you are not safe and don’t feel able to trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your local hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk.

This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

WARNING: If you are having suicidal thoughts or urges to self-harm you need to act now. If you are not safe and don’t trust yourself, please go to the emergency department of your hospital now for a clinical evaluation on your overall risk. Do not reach out to me through this site and wait for a response as we don’t provide emergency services.

*This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

Reference: Drs. Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke and colleagues.