SUMMARY

Depression Test Depression is one of the most prevalent and serious mental illnesses in the world today. Approximately one in four women and one in eight men experience at least one bout of depression in their lifetime. Depression is a biological illness, one that often has a devastating impact on behavior, thoughts and feelings. Although depression can be triggered or worsened by specific events or problems as well as depressive thought patterns and personality traits, medical research has shown that it occurs as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Almost every one of us has, at one point or another, experienced feelings of unhappiness, "a blue mood" that could be associated with a disruptive life event - but true depression entails a pervasive feeling of sadness that impairs our general functioning and lasts for more than two weeks. This test assesses whether the diagnostic criteria for major depression is met, and evaluates depressive thought patterns.

OVERALL RESULTS = 63%
You responded in a way that indicates moderate to severe depressive symptoms. Your results will tell you whether you meet the criteria for a depressive illness diagnosis. In any case, it is strongly recommended that you see your physician as soon as you can. Depression is treatable and the success rate is very high. You may feel now that every day is a struggle, but things WILL get better. After some time, facing another day will become easier and gradually, you will find joy again. Please, see a doctor; you really do not need to suffer this way. Remember, depression is a medical problem and it is not ''just in your head”. It is not something you did, you are not being punished, and it is not your fault. You don't deserve to suffer, no matter how badly you feel about yourself right now. There is help, so please, go and get it.

Many of the people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety (and vice versa).
INTRODUCTION Depression is one of the most prevalent and serious mental illnesses in the world today. Approximately one in four women and one in eight men experience at least one bout of depression in their lifetime. Depression is a

biological illness, one that often has a devastating impact on behavior, thoughts and feelings. Although depression can be triggered or worsened by specific events or problems, as well as depressive thought patterns and personality traits, medical research has shown that it occurs as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Almost every one of us has, at one point or another, experienced feelings of unhappiness, "a blue mood", that could be associated with a disruptive life event - but true depression entails a pervasive feeling of sadness that impairs our general functioning and lasts for more than two weeks. Some of the more common symptoms of depression are: • Changes in sleep habits such as insomnia, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much. • Changes in eating habits such as loss of appetite or weight gain. • Decreased energy, feeling of fatigue. • Restlessness and irritability. • Difficulty in concentration, remembering; difficulty in making decisions. • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, guilt or worthlessness. • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings. • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities, such as involvement with loved ones or hobbies. • Thoughts of death or suicide. Causes and Treatment of Depression The neurotransmitters (naturally occurring chemical messengers that carry electrical signals in our brain) serotonin and norepinephrine play a significant role in maintaining our mood. When these neurotransmitters are in low levels, the symptoms of depression, as listed above, become clinically evident. While depression can be considered a biological illness, there is little doubt that certain personality traits, attitudes and ways of thinking about the world can contribute greatly to the development and maintenance of depressive symptoms. This test not only assessed levels of depressive symptoms, but also evaluated various other traits to identify whether a depressive cognitive style, personality, or attitudes are also at work. The personality traits measured included Maladaptive Perfectionism and Rumination. The cognitive variables measured the tendency to attribute failures and setbacks to internal, stable factors, as well as looking for a tendency to attend to disheartening stimuli in the environment. Finally, the attitudinal measures assessed concern about what other people think, as well as the tendency to over-dramatize negative events. Depression can be treated, depending on the severity of the individual case, using a combination of medication and therapy. Over the years, a wide range of antidepressant medications has become available. The oldest ones are the series of tricyclic antidepressants and the newer ones consist of the SSRIs, Prozac, Paxil and many others. Antidepressant medicines are non-addictive and safe if used as prescribed. Studies have shown that 76% of patients with Major Depressive Disorder recover using antidepressants compared to only 18% on a

placebo. They help restore the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain and thereby relieve or lessen the symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of depression is often delayed, as well-meaning friends and family tell the depressed individual to "just snap out of the mood". Many people still carry the misconception that depression is a character flaw, a problem that happens because the individual is weak. While seeking therapy and the use of anti-depressants is much more acceptable than it was a mere 10 years ago, sufferers still battle a societal stigma that is not easy to shake. The most unfortunate result of this stigma is a hesitation to seek medical treatment. With proper treatment, in fact, the feelings of despair, hopelessness, and helplessness can be alleviated so sufferers can go on to live rich and fulfilling lives. Their chemical imbalances can be addressed and they can learn ways to combat the negative thinking patterns associated with depression. The first step is diagnosing the problem.

GRAPHS
Overall results = 63% Depressive Symptoms 63% Depressed Mood 80% Loss of Interest 55% Change in Appetite or Weight 25% Sleep Disturbance 100% Psychomotor Symptoms 74% Loss of Energy 65% Guilt and Shame 72% Concentration Problems 65% Thoughts of Death or Suicide 15% Depressive Mindset 55% Maladaptive Perfectionism 56% Rumination 55% Cognitive Variables 65% Internal Attribution of Failure 62% Attentional Bias 54% Catastrophic Thinking Patterns 43% Worry about Judgment of Others 59% Rigid Mindset 45%

DETAILED RESULTS

Overall level of depression
Overall results (score 63) You responded in a way that indicates moderate to severe depressive symptoms. Your results will tell you whether you meet the criteria for a depressive illness diagnosis. In any case, it is strongly recommended that you see your physician as soon as you can. Depression is treatable and the success rate is very high. You may feel now that every day is a struggle, but things WILL get better. After some time, facing another day will become easier and gradually, you will find joy again. Please, see a doctor; you really do not need to suffer this way. Remember, depression is a medical problem and it is not ''just in your head”. It is not something you did, you are not being punished, and it is not your fault. You don't deserve to suffer, no matter how badly you feel about yourself right now. There is help, so please, go and get it. Depressive Symptoms (score 63) There is some indication that you might be clinically depressed. You have depressive symptoms, either many of moderate intensity, or several severe ones. Review carefully the symptoms listed below that you currently possess and consult a physician promptly to verify their seriousness.
• • • • •

Symptom: Generally depressed mood Symptom: Loss of interest in enjoyable activities and lack of pleasure Symptom: Significant changes in appetite; weight loss or weight gain Symptom: Difficulty falling or staying asleep Symptom: Psychomotor symptoms (moving slower than usual or behaving in an agitated manner) Symptom: Loss of or significant decrease in energy; persistent fatigue Symptom: Exaggerated feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment Symptom: Loss of or significant decrease in ability to concentrate No thoughts of death or suicidal ideation

• • • •

Assesses whether your thinking style, attitudes or personality make you vulnerable to depression. It appears that in some areas, your personality, attitudes, and thinking style protect you against depression, while in others this is not the case. Researchers have noted that depressed individuals tend to be different from non-depressed individuals in a variety of areas. These include their thinking patterns, their personality, and their attitudes about the world. You should read the specific scale results to find out about your problem areas. When faced with the same situation as a person with a very depressive mindset, you are less likely to become depressed, although you are somewhat vulnerable. Maladaptive Perfectionism (score 56) You had a medium score on Maladaptive Perfectionism. This indicates that when you fail to achieve what you set out to do, you likely get mad at yourself, but to a healthy extent. This is a good approach because you’re learning from your mistakes so that you improve in the future, but are still leaving your self-esteem intact. People who berate themselves when they fail to reach goals are prone to depression. Such a tendency can be very damaging to one’s self-esteem. Rumination (score 55) You are somewhat prone to rumination, which means that although you do think about problems in your life, you don’t do so excessively. There may be some issues that you’ll dwell on occasionally, but in general you are able to let others go. People who ruminate are vulnerable to depression because they cannot allow themselves a minute of peace. As a result, their problems tend to be magnified by the extra thought put into them. Measures the extent to which you tend to over-think issues you are experiencing in your life. This scale assesses the extent to which you are hard on yourself when your standards are not met. Depressive Mindset (score 55)

Cognitive Variables (score 65) You tend to believe that many failures, setbacks and difficult life challenges are stable, meaning that they will not get better. Perhaps you lack confidence in your ability to alter the outcome of a situation, or feel that other factors have control over whether things will improve. Remember that if you believe that there is room for improvement, even the most upsetting situation can be tolerated. Otherwise, you will begin to lose hope.

Assesses extent to which you attribute failures and setbacks to stable, unchanging, and uncontrollable factors.

Internal Attribution of Failure (score 62) You often attribute failures, setbacks and difficult life situations to internal factors, meaning that you believe they are caused by factors within your control – factors that are your fault. This can be a really unhealthy way of thinking about failures and problems in your life. When you blame yourself for everything it can really take a toll on your self-esteem. If you believe you are fundamentally incapable of dealing with issues, you may start to feel hopeless and helpless, which is a key cause of depression. Assesses whether you tend to blame yourself for problems or failures you have experienced, or tend to blame external factors.

Attentional Bias (score 54) Depressed individuals tend to be more sensitive to negative information in their environment. They manage to pick out the one unhappy face in a crowd, or notice the negative critiques and ignore the positive. You appear to have a slight tendency to think this way. In certain areas of your life or when you are feeling down, you tend to hone in on negative information, while other times you pick out the positive. Remember that by focusing consistently on the positive stimuli around you, you can any pessimistic thoughts and opinions you may have about yourself.

Assesses whether you tend to notice and pay attention to negative information in your environment more than you do positive information.

help protect yourself from depression. When you center your attention on negative input, you serve to confirm

Catastrophic Thinking Patterns (score 43) Sometimes, you take negative experiences or news at face value, while other times you tend to believe that the consequences of such events are more catastrophic than the really are. When you begin to dramatize an event (e.g. you start to imagine all the other possible things that can go wrong) you are wasting more energy on that negative experience than is necessary. People with a depressive mindset tend to believe that when something bad happens, the consequences will be severe and far-reaching. They react more strongly to such situations as a result. If you try to experiences. Worry about Judgment of Others (score 59) You worry somewhat about what people will think of you when things go wrong in your life, but not excessively. Perhaps you are sensitive in some areas or feel more vulnerable to social scrutiny on some days than others. When you do feel concerned, you may believe that others take pleasure in your problems, that they feel sorry for you, or that they are otherwise judgmental of you. Unfortunately, this attitude can lead comfort from others when you are in emotional pain.

Evaluates whether you tend to be overly dramatic about things that happen in your life, thinking that the consequences will be more catastrophic than is necessarily true.

adopt a more “That’s life, but I’ll get over it” attitude, you may be able to recover more quickly from negative

Measures whether you worry excessively about being judged by others.

you to feel worse about your problems than you need to. It also means that you may be less likely to seek

Rigid Mindset (score 45) You appear to have a moderately flexible mindset, but there are some areas and issues where you’re thinking is more black and white. Being flexible can help you maintain a positive attitude and allow you to adjust when things don’t go as planned. People who refuse to bend have a lot of difficulty adjusting when their expectations are not met.

Assesses whether you have a rigid mindset or tend to be a more flexible person.

STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS The following is a summarized version of your results, categorized as Strengths, Potential Strengths, and Limitations. Strengths ·No strengths detected Potential Strengths ·Your thinking style, attitudes, and personality likely leave you somewhat vulnerable to depression ·You are sometimes hard on yourself when your goals are not met ·You sometimes over-think issues in your life ·You sometimes focus in on the positive but may at times also notice the negative things around you ·You sometimes blow negative experiences out of proportion ·You sometimes worry about what others will think when things go wrong in your life ·You have a fairly flexible mindset and are sometimes able to adjust when things do not turn out as expected Limitations ·You experience many symptoms of depression ·You often attribute failures and setbacks to permanent, uncontrollable factors ·You very often blame yourself when you experience failures and setbacks Advice and tips Depressive Mindset • Look to the future. Many problems, especially major upsets such as job loss, the end of a relationship, or the death of a family member, can seem insurmountable when immersed in the problem. Remember though that people can, and do, recover from even the most extreme circumstances. If you find yourself falling into a chasm of despair, remember that although you may never forget what happened, your life will go on. • Learn the consequences of how you attribute failures in your life. Stable attributions, (blaming permanent and unchangeable factors for one’s problems) can lead to hopelessness. After all, if the circumstances leading to the disappointments are set in stone, how can you hope to make any headway against them? Internal attributions of failures are unhealthy as well, as they can chip away at self-esteem, especially if one blames oneself for many of life’s problems. Therefore the healthiest way to look at upsetting circumstances is to look for unstable, external factors. Just be sure to take responsibility when it is called for. • Keep things in perspective when feeling blue.Think back to other times that you felt this down - did they always warrant such a strong reaction? This is not to beat yourself up about the past, but to realize that you have and can again survive situations that you thought were too much to handle. • Look for alternative explanations for why things went wrong. Instead of telling yourself it was your fault, that people just don’t like you, or finding some other negative explanation, try to look for other reasons. Sometimes, our life circumstances get in the way of our goals – it happens to everyone. And sometimes,

According to Australian Government statistics, everyone will at some time in their life be affected by depression -- their own or someone else's.

people are just having a bad day and do not behave as enthusiastically as they normally do. Learn not to take things personally and you will be released from some very common thought patterns associated with depression. • Learn to enjoy the process rather than only the final product. For those individuals who tend to beat themselves up if they don’t get first place, a promotion, or achieve other goals, the outcome of the process is what is most important. If you learn to enjoy the whole progression, and appreciate the small goals you HAVE reached along the way instead of what you didn’t achieve, you will likely be more satisfied with yourself. • Get your mind off your problems. If you over-think problems in your life, they begin to crowd out all of the good things that are going on. Give issues the thought they deserve, but allow yourself time to have fun, read a book you’ve been meaning to read, or pursue an active activity. It may take conscious effort not to think about a problem (pinch yourself when it comes up, or immediately think about something else more enjoyable) but the effort will help remind you of the good things going on in your life. • Look for the supportive faces in a crowd. When you are socializing, working or performing in front of a group, there will almost always be SOMEONE with an unhappy expression on his or her face. A person with a depressed mindset will often focus in on or be extremely sensitive to criticism, critical facial expressions, or subtle verbal digs. Individuals who don’t have such a mindset are more likely to either not notice such things, or will deliberately choose to focus on the positive. It is much healthier to focus on the enthusiastic reactions of those around you. • Think about seeking cognitive therapy. Even if a person with a depressive mindset doesn’t meet the DSM – IV criteria for depression, he or she can likely benefit from cognitive therapy to help battle against depressive thoughts. Therapists using this technique teach their clients how to identify their particular depressive thoughts, and then provide methods to fight against them. It really is possible to change the way we think for the better. • Be on the lookout for warning signs of black and white, absolutist thinking. Look out for thoughts in your head like “I always perform poorly on important projects at work”, or “I will never get over this break-up”, or “Now that the first night of my vacation went poorly, the whole trip is ruined”. Such thoughts can lead to generalizing one negative experience to other situations or the same situation in the future. Like a house of cards, for depressive thinkers using this style, their whole world can crumble when one thing goes wrong.

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