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    I, A Clinically Depressed Person, Took Google's New Depression Quiz

    Dr. Google is in.

    Hi, my name is Morgan, and I have been diagnosed by multiple psychiatrists as clinically depressed.

    The good news? I've been in intensive treatment and am feeling better than I have in years.

    SO. Yesterday the overlords at Google added a diagnostic survey function to their mobile search in the United States. Google "depression" or "clinical depression" and you get this handy little button.

    Morgan Shanahan

    OK, no sarcasm. The test was released in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It is nine questions long (known as "Patient Health Questionnaire-9" or PHQ-9) and will tell you what level of depressed you are at the end.

    The test itself is not new, nor the first of it's kind. Not long after my daughter was born, I was evaluated using the widely accepted screening test Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. I've also filled out lengthy (like, TL;DR lengthy) questionnaires asking similar questions every time I've sought a second (or third or fourth) opinion from any psychiatrist.

    Ready to get really intimate? Here are my answers.

    Morgan Shanahan

    It's HARD to enjoy even the most joyful moments when you're depressed. I laugh when my puppy steps on his ears, or my daughter wears my shoes, but I'm frequently distracted by the irrational anxieties that plague me.

    (Kind of like how my low phone battery is plaguing you right now, isn't it?)

    Morgan Shanahan

    For me, a dip in my mood quickly turns to overanalyzing – whether it be about career, friends, or family, and can easily convince me I'm a shit weasel social pariah.

    Morgan Shanahan

    I probably spend more time sleeping than I do awake. Sometimes for days. Sometimes even when I don't realize I'm feeling like garbage.

    Morgan Shanahan

    Basically, if I start to slip, I go to bed.

    Morgan Shanahan

    Definitely every day. Actually I'm eating a third donut right now.

    Morgan Shanahan

    As an idealistic youth I had big plans to be a highly paid movie director while my husband stayed home. He's still working, so that's an albatross for me.

    Morgan Shanahan

    I have certainly had this symptom but am thrilled to say my elocution is returning. My words still get scrambled sometimes and I often catch myself in tangents, but I'm becoming much more aware of myself.

    Morgan Shanahan

    Another symptom I'm grateful to be able to answer "no" to. Treatment in action. A few months ago the sweet release of death seemed like a vacation to me.


    Morgan Shanahan

    But I'm feeling so much better, so why am I still clinically depressed, per Google?

    My totally unqualified verdict? I think it's awesome that Google is raising awareness of depression symptoms in this way. I think each person who takes this test, depressed or not, will come through with a deeper understanding of what depression can look like.

    Nine questions on a search engine aren't going to cure you, but they can be the first step to recovery if you reach out for help as a result.

    As for letting the largest search engine and data collector in the world track your mental wellness? Well, I can't even begin to unpack that right now.

    If you need help immediately, dial 911 or go directly to a hospital. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, every day, at 800-273-8255

    Read more about mental health HERE.