The 9-Question Survey Doctors Use to ‘Diagnose’ Depression Was Created by an Antidepressant Manufacturer


From Insider: “If your doctor suspects you might ‘have depression,’ there’s a go-to questionnaire they might pull out with nine questions to answer about how you’ve been feeling over the past two weeks.

The questions touch on a range of potential issues, from sleep disturbances, to appetite changes, concentration issues, and your general enjoyment of life.

Many experts say this tool, called the PHQ-9, was never meant to be a definitive diagnostic test aimed at ‘diagnosing’ ‘mental health issues.’ It was designed as a first-ditch screening tool; a conversation starter between doctor and patient.

But for primary care physicians strapped for time in the exam room, it is often used as a stand-in for a more in-depth clinical evaluation — a go-to prescribing tool for antidepressants.

Critics say the issue is that this tool was developed by Pfizer, shortly after Zoloft came on the market.

‘These forms have a very low criteria for anxiety and depression,’ UK-based psychotherapist James Davies, co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, told the Telegraph in 2017. ‘It’s about getting people in and out of the door in 10 minutes,’ often, with a prescription in hand.”

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  1. Well, according to this test, which I took. If you have 0/27 signs of depression, you have “minimal depression.” Which means this test states that there is no such thing as not being “depressed.” 0/27 means you’re not depressed.

    I did find it interesting that some of the 9 questions related to the common adverse effects of the anticholinergic drugs, like the antidepressants and antipsychotics.

    And I do wonder who this test was automatically – and unbeknownst to me initially – sent to, merely for wanting my results.

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  2. I think I was given one to fill out and I asked them if it was from the manufacturer and they said no, and I said if you look closely I think it is.

    I believe in the UK that the advice is now, to move away from antidepressants because the situation is getting out of control.

    Historically before these drugs arrived, people did suffer ‘depression’ and sometimes ended up helpless in hospital. But they recovered without chemicals and maybe only had one or two episodes of ‘depression’ in their lives.

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