What is the major depression inventory?

The Major Depression Inventory, or MDI, is a self-administered questionnaire used to identify and measure the severity of depression. The questionnaire asks people to rate various aspects of their mood over a period of time, often two weeks. Subjects are asked to indicate whether they have felt a certain way or acted a certain way "all the time," "not at all," or a variety of other possibilities in between over the course of that time period. The term "major depression inventory" generally refers to a specific questionnaire of this type developed by the World Health Organization. However, there are many other self-administered questionnaires that exist for the same purpose, and they tend to differ only in small details.

Questions on the Major Depression Inventory tend to focus primarily on moods and habits. The inventory tends to prompt people to indicate how often they have felt sad, low on energy, guilty, or purposeless over a given period of time. The Major Depression Inventory also questions people about habits such as eating, sleeping, and recreation. People taking the questionnaire are asked, for example, to indicate how often in the past two weeks they felt life was not worth living and how often they had trouble sleeping.

One of the main benefits of the major depression inventory, particularly the one published by the World Health Organization, is its wide availability and ease of use. The questionnaire is available online in many different languages ​​and can be downloaded and printed. It also has easy-to-follow grading instructions, and some versions simply involve filling out a form and grading it online. The test can be qualified to provide results in a way that fits one of a variety of widely used diagnostic systems. The results of this self-administered questionnaire can also be collected to gather information about the mental health of a population.

While the Major Depression Inventory can provide a good indication of whether or not one is suffering from depression and the relative severity of that depression, one should seek professional help with serious concerns about major mood disorders. A mental health professional can provide a more detailed diagnosis than the major depression inventory and can also suggest and provide treatment. In some cases, depression-like symptoms can be caused by disorders that go beyond depression. A mental health professional can examine such symptoms and determine the best options for coping and hopefully recovery.

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