Think You Might Be Depressed? Google Can Now Help You Figure It Out

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It's not always easy to tell if you're just in a slump or if you're actually clinically depressed. To help internet users gain self-insight, Google will now offer a mental health screening questionnaire to U.S. residents who search for “depression” on their mobile phones, The Verge reports.

In addition to web results, the term "depression" yields a box (dubbed a Knowledge Panel) with information on depression, related symptoms, and potential treatments, like therapy or antidepressants. To get screened, click the option "Check if you're clinically depressed" to take a confidential, medically backed self-assessment quiz known as the PHQ-9. Depending on the results, you may want to seek an in-person evaluation with a mental health professional.

Google teamed up with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a nationwide grassroots mental health advocacy group, to launch their depression-focused Knowledge Panel. According to NAMI, approximately 1 in 5 Americans experiences clinical depression, but only about 50 percent actually receive treatment. And even when people do seek the help they need, it's typically six to eight years after symptoms first arise.

"Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person's life," NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti wrote in a Google blog post. "The PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis."

[h/t The Verge]