The Beck Depression Inventory Test

Many of my visitors are interested in The Beck Depression Inventory, or BDI. It is a well known 21 item, self ranking inventory that measures characteristic attitudes and depressive symptoms over the past two (2) weeks. It was developed in 1961 by Beck, Ward, Mendelson and Erbaugh (well, mostly Aaron Beck!) and is still one of the most popular tests used by therapists today. It only takes about 5 minutes to complete and it is available in both English and Spanish. I use it in my practice as it is a very useful tool for understanding my clients state of being and how serious their condition might be. Since 1961, the BDI was revised twice - once in 1978 and once in 1996.



Unfortunately, it is not available on-line (at least legally, anyway!) because it has a copyright that forbids it. The only way this test can be provided is if it is administered by a mental health professional. But, never fear, I have many other tests available that you can take. Or if you came to learn more about the Beck Depression Inventory Read More Here

So, if you want to take a depression test, I do have several assessments available that include the following:

  • Depression quiz
  • Depression self test
  • Geriatric Depression Scale
  • Zung Depression Scale
  • Depression Questionnaire
  • Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale

    It's important to mention that these assessements are available to you for educational purposes and they should not be used to self-diagnose. If any of these tests indicate that there may be a problem then I recommend you seek professional guidance as soon as possible. And, of course, if you need immediate or urgent help, please reach out to one of the many depression hotlines. They are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained personnel and they are available to help you.

    More About The Beck Depression Inventory

    Okay, back on topic. If you came to learn about the Beck Depression Inventory, let's get to it. This test that can be used on adults and teenagers, ages 13 to 80 years. If you are in the older demographic, another assessment to consider is the Geriatric Scale that was specifically developed for the more senior population. I provided a link above for one click access.

    Historically, the BDI was used to conduct research and evaluate how effective certain therapy treatments are in treating depressive disorders. It measures the intensity of feelings towards the world, towards your future and towards yourself and was designed to reflect the criteria defined in the DSM-IV, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    As with all formal assessments, this one meets the "Standards for Education and Psychological Testing". These standards are so important because it ensures that the assessment is valid and reliable - ensuring that it actually asssesses what it is suppose to be assessing. However, with that said, there are some limitations that come with this test. As with all self rating assessments, the results are relative and dependent on how the individual answers each item. If the person is in a very depressed mood, perhaps more than usual, their answers will be skewed and exaggerated in that direction. As a result, it is always good to take it a few times over the coures of a couple of months to get an overall "average" view of what is going on with the client.

    As I mentioned before it is is not possible to take the Beck Depression Inventory because this is used by certified mental health professionals only and is not distributed for use as a self assessment. Instead, it is taken with and interpreted by your therapist.

    If you are interested in learning more about the BDI you can check out my page about Beck Depression Scoring as well.

    One thing to note as you embark on this journey, if you are depressed, it is okay and you are not alone - although you may feel like you are! Over 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with depressive disorders. The key is to get it diagnosed by a professional and then start an appropriate treatment plan so that you can recover and lead a fully functioning, happy, fulfilling life. Once you receive treatment, you will feel better in just a couple of weeks. This disorder can be successfully treated and successfully conquered. So don't lose hope! Instead, reach out as soon as possible to get the help that you need.

    Beck Depression Inventory to Depression Test Home Page


  • Happy family after overcoming depression- Depression Test



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