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An Online Screening Test Can Help You Decide If It’s Just the Blues You’re Feeling or Depression

ROCHESTER, Minn., Oct. 8 -- Feeling down, but don't think you're depressed? There's a self-screening test that might help you figure out what's going on and what you can do to get yourself back on track. As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, has created a special package of information about depression. Visitors to the site can take an interactive depression self-assessment test that gives them a score indicating whether or not they may be experiencing depression. Click here for more information . explains that irritability, panic attacks, chronic pain and even persistent tardiness because you just can't drag yourself out of bed in the morning, all may be symptoms of depression.

"In a sense, the symptoms become a disease," says Robert Morse, M.D., Mayo Clinic emeritus professor of psychiatry. "The way we respond to stress can alter brain chemistry. If these changes go unchecked for several weeks or more, you may develop the signs and symptoms of major depression." also provides links to locations around the United States that offer free, confidential screenings during National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 9. Many of the sites offer screenings throughout the year.

People who took the screening test during previous National Depression Screening Days shared common symptoms of depression according to

  • Difficulty doing things they were able to do in the past
  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling worthless and not needed
  • No longer enjoying activities they once enjoyed

"Just as with physical illnesses, mental illnesses span a range of severity from mild to severe. They exact a great toll on the quality of life of those with the illness and also those who care about them -- family, friends, employers and co-workers," says Keith Kramlinger, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and medical editor for "Depression screening can help you get appropriate treatment, which can improve your quality of life, your relationships, your job or school performance, and your overall health."

The mission of is to empower people to manage their health by providing useful and up-to-date information and tools that reflect the expertise of the more than 2,000 physicians and scientists at Mayo Clinic. is owned by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to . ( ) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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