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Google, How Depressed Am I?

Don't know if you're clinically depressed or just bummed out? Google can tell you.

Anyone doing a Google search for "clinical depression" on a mobile device will now be able to see a Knowledge Panel, and by tapping on it, the option "check if you're clinically depressed" will appear. If tapped, a questionnaire, PHQ-9, pops up, where a person can test his/her likely level of depression.

Google, which says PHQ-9 is clinically validated, partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to create the tool.

Quartz writes that Google's quiz isn't new, but is a version of a questionnaire that's been used by doctors for the past 18 years to help diagnose patients with mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Doctors use the quiz as one tool to assess a patient's mental state, and similarly, NAMI says the Google version of the quiz "can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor … and be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis."

Newsweek points out that the internet, ironically, may be a reason for some mental health issues, "especially when it comes to seeking out information about one's health," a condition that in its extreme form is sometimes called cyberchondria. Research has shown that about 40 percent of people reported feeling increased anxiety after Googling medical symptoms.