- Low Self-Esteem
- Self-Help Strategies
- Bipolar disorder
Posted by: admin on: December 27, 2011
The PHQ-9 depression questionnaire is a widely-respected test for depression, often used by doctors and psychologists to diagnose both depression and its severity and type. You can find the list of questions elsewhere on this site and try it out for yourself if you are concerned that you might be depressed.
One of the most helpful features of this depression questionnaire is that it is derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical manual’s own criteria for major depression. This means that its results are less subjective than some other depression questionnaires’, since DSM is so widely used by the same set of professionals. The correlation means that there should be little room for doubt about the results.
What the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire doesn’t do is tell you what the best method of treatment will be. Depression responds well to both drugs (antidepressants of various kinds) and counselling. This could take the form of CBT, psychodynamic work, or other forms of therapy. You can find out a bit more about different kinds of counselling here; further information is freely available on the web.
Regardless of the type or severity of depression diagnosed as a result of the depression questionnaire, it is important that you engage well with any counselling you receive. There is a vast amount of material about which modalities (counselling schools of theory) are more successful; these are largely unhelpful, since they favour those methods for which there is most data, rather than those that are actually most successful. Ultimately, the working alliance is arguably a more important factor. However your therapist approaches counselling, you need to be comfortable working together. This is a more powerful factor for success than the type of counselling.
Having said this, a good therapist will discuss in detail what has led to your depression – both in the short term and in the light of your background. The more information you can provide, the better.
The PHQ-9 depression questionnaire is a useful test, then, but it is simply a first step to establishing the presence of depressive conditions. It does not provide you with all the information you need to address the condition. This is a far more complex task, and may involve a mixture of antidepressants of one kind or another, and talking therapies.