New Google test to help diagnose depression

Google's US search results will let people check if they're depressed

Google's US search results will let people check if they're depressed

But when it comes to mental health, Google is stepping up its resource game.

U.S. -based users who make depression-related queries on the search engine will receive the prompt: "Check if you're clinically depressed", and be invited to fill out a screening questionnaire. The clinically validated test, called PHQ-9, asks about energy, appetite and concentration levels, among other things.

Google says the information will not be recorded or shared, but users can use it to start a conversation with a doctor. Rather, it's created to help increase awareness and could lead people to seek treatment, Giliberti said. Your Severity Score depends on how you answer each of the nine questions, with the provisional diagnoses ranging from minimal symptoms to major depression.

Now, when you search for "depression" or "clinical depression", a Knowledge Panel will pop up on the screen, providing immediate, digestible general information on the symptoms and treatment options. Around half of the people with clinically diagnosed depression don't get treatment either. Nevertheless, NAMI also reminds users that the PHQ-9 evaluation is not a "singular tool for diagnosis".

Depression is common; one in five Americans experience the condition once in their lifetimes, according to NAMI.

Buyout rumors persist after Wade's kids reportedly attend Fla. school
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"Nothing" will be done with users' results and they are only meant to aid discussion with your medical professional, Susan Cadrecha, Communications Manager, Search at Google told Ladders.

The organization hopes that by making the questionnaire easily available on Google, more people will become aware of their own illness and seek treatment. For example, the questionnaire Google is using is a "really useful clinical screening instrument"; however, it probably wasn't created to be used in a random population but rather in clinical and medical settings, he said.

The new feature "is not meant to subvert a medical evaluation".

Users in the U.S. searching for information about mental health problems will be met with the prompt "check if you're clinically depressed".

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