The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, or DASS21, is a 21 question assessment that was developed to measure the degree of depression, anxiety and stress in an individual. It includes seven (7) questions for each and the scores are calculated by adding up the scores for each item in the section. While I am providing the test and scoring sheet below, it is important to know that this is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a way to self-diagnose.
If you are experiencing serious symptoms of depression, anxiety or stress it is strongly recommended that you pursue a diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional. And, if it is really serious, then you should consider reaching out to any number of hotlines to get immediate support. Most are staffed 24/7 by trained individuals and they can provide the immediate support, advice and references you might need.
To take the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, simply download it, print it out and follow the directions. This is a PDF file so you will need Acrobat Adobe which you can download free if you don’t have it.
The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale is really quite interesting in that it does not look at specific categorical conception. Rather it focuses on dimensional elements of a psychological disorder. It assumes that the difference between depressive disorders, anxiety and stress is just a degree or two. This has been proven by clinical research.
With respect to depressive disorders, the assessment looks at things such as feeling hopeless, having no value for life, lack of self-worth, and limited interest in activities. To assess anxiety, it looks at autonomic arousal, and situational anxiety. Stress takes into account difficulty relaxing, nervousness, irritability and levels of impatience.
There are some considerations when taking the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, particularly in this venue. First, it is being self-administered. This is not necessarily the best because, let’s face it, you aren’t exactly objective. Second, it really takes a snap shot of only one week. To truly diagnose depressive disorders, anxiety and stress disorders we (therapists) take into account longer periods of time and many other factors such as family history, medications, drug and alcohol use, prior diagnosis and many other factors. As a result, I can’t stress enough to use the results as simply a reference point and seek out additional information.
If your scores indicate that you may be depressed then I recommend you take a professional depression test. While it is not meant to diagnose you, it is another point of reference so you can start connecting the dots. And, if that test indicates you are depressed then seek out the advice of a mental health professional. More than likely they will use an assessment like the Beck Depression Inventory. This is a test I use most often with my clients.
Did you know that there are many famous people with manic depression? This should give you hope to know that these disorders are treated with success once properly diagnosed.
If you are elderly, and want to take an assessment, then I recommend the Geriatric Depression Scale. It is the most popular one for the older population.
And, please know that you can beat this!Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale to Depression Test Home Page