Depression is more than feeling sad or "blue". Depression can interfere with daily life. Most people who seek treatment can get better. Your provider will know if you are getting better by using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) tool, a widely used tool to help your provider track your treatment progress. Using the PHQ-9, your provider will ask nine questions about the problems you are having and how you are feeling.
Care You Should Expect to Receive – High-quality care for treatment of depression may include medication, sessions with a therapist or lifestyle changes. Your provider should ask you to answer the nine questions during each visit to see if you are feeling better and if you are on track to have no symptoms or almost no symptoms (remission).
Symptoms of depression can interfere with a patient’s daily life:
- lack of appetite or increased appetite
- sleeping too much or too little
- loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
- feeling of hopelessness
How Will This Help Me? Your provider will use your questionnaire score to decide what treatments may work best for you. Over time, your score can indicate how well those treatments are working. If your questionnaire score goes down (reduced by half) it means you are feeling better and responding well to treatment. If your score goes down even more and stays down, you may have achieved remission, meaning you are experiencing few or no symptoms.