The Beck Depression Inventory Scoring system tells the therapist just how depressed a client / patient might be. The scoring system includes a measurement of the clients self ranked response in 21 different catagories. The Beck Depression Inventory Scoring process looks at the following categories:
Sadness, pessimism, sense of failure, dissatisfaction, guilt, expectation of punishment, dislike of self, social withdrawal, indecisiveness, change in body image, retardation, insomnia, fatigability, loss of appetite, self accusation, suicidal ideation, episodes of crying, loss of weight, somatic preoccupation and level of energy.
The Beck Depression Scoring system ranks the levels of depression using a numerical system. It ranks the client level of depression as normal ups and downs, mild to moderate, moderate to severe or severe. These scores can also help a therapist determine if the client might be denying depression or whether the client possibly has other personality disorders.
If you are interested in learning if you might have a depressive disorder then I have a lot of different depression test on this site so you can take a depression test here. However, if you want to take the Beck's Depression Inventory then you will need to find a local therapist that can administer the test as it is not suppose to be self administered.
One of the biggest problems with the BDI is that it is self-scoring. This means that the responses are far from objective and can be easily minimized or exhaggerated. Also, the respondents answers may change depending on the mood they are currently in when taking the test.
The BDI tests for affective symptoms (mood) and somatic symptoms (physical). This could pose a problem. Foor instance, if the person taking the test has another physical illness they would rank high on the portion of the test that considers the physical symptoms. This, obviously, could distort the score and bring results that are not accurate.
It's important to mention here that this test is under copyright and providing this on-line, as a download or in print is strictly prohibited without obtaining permission and paying a fee for licensure to do so.
I mention this because, while this is a self-adminstered test, it needs to be reviewed and interpretted by a mental health professional. The counselor or therapist will take the BDI test results into consideration, along with other parameters to determine if the client is, indeed, depressed.
It is not to be used as a stand alone, self-diagnosis tool.