Excerpt from the book “The Truth About Fear and Depression” by Heather Denkmire

If you are wondering whether you might be experiencing depression or an anxiety disorder, the following self-test can help you learn more about yourself. Your responses will not give you a diagnosis, but they may help you gain insight into what you are feeling. Remember, there is no substitute for the opinions and advice of a professional mental health worker.

List all statements that are true for you:


I feel sad and irritable much of the time.
I often feel afraid to be alone.
I feel lonely most of the time.
I feel hopeless most of the time.
I seem more depressed than my friends.
Other people have noticed changes in my moods.
I have trouble concentrating and remembering things.
I have trouble making decisions.
Nothing is interesting to me.
I can’t seem to get along with anyone.
I get angry all the time.
I cry all the time.
I hate myself.


I sometimes us alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
I have lost interest in activities I once enjoyed.
Other people have noticed changes in my activity level.
I avoid places I used to go that now make me feel uncomfortable.
My grades are getting worse.
I’ve gotten in trouble with my teachers or my boss at work.

Health and Well-Being

I sometimes think about suicide and ending it all.
I have made a plan to commit suicide.
I have attempted suicide.
I have had a panic attack, with a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and sweaty palms.
I have trouble with sleep–I sleep too much or not enough.
I have trouble with my appetitie–I eat too much or not enough.

Listing any one of these items as true for you does not mean you are suffering from a mental disorder. However, if you selected more than one statement, it is probably a good idea to talk with someone about how you are feeling. If you selected more than a few statements, please talk to someone right away. The school nurse, a doctor, a teacher, or any adult you trust would be a good choice. He or she can help you find a counselor to talk to, if you wish.