News Worms
News Worms


Google Will Now Help You Check If You're Depressed

Google Will Now Help You Check If You're Depressed

Within a few days, US-based people who search for topics related to " depression " via Google's search engine will be prompted to take a clinically approved mental health questionnaire called a PHQ-9.

Google and the National Alliance on Mental Illness are launching an online survey to help Google users decide whether they might have depression and should seek help.

Users in the U.S., who search for "depression, ' can avail information regarding the symptoms and remedies on Google's Knowledge Panel". The clinically validated test, called PHQ-9, asks about energy, appetite and concentration levels, among other things. The self-assessment is private and is meant to steer people who need help to their doctor for further discussion. Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person's life. Estimates also suggest that people with depression experience delays of up to 8 years in receiving treatment, after the onset of symptoms. Many people believe self-diagnosis could be a substitute for hard conversations with a physician, especially when it comes to health issues that still carry shame and stigma such as those related to mental health. It could, however, encourage people to seek help. Typically this panel is used for factual information, including details drawn from Wikipedia entries.

But when it comes to mental health, Google is stepping up its resource game. But it will also display the option to tap a link to "check if you're clinically depressed".

Some common symptoms that the PHQ-9 checks for include a lack of interest in or pleasure from doing things, feeling down or hopeless, trouble concentrating, or thoughts of self-harm. The feature can be useful to many since those suffering from depression not only face stigma from the society but is also frequently undiagnosed for years, sometimes even to old age. It involves an association with hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who provide support and education on depression and mental health.

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