What is the Beck Depression Inventory?

by Marilee Snyder on April 20, 2011

Originally created by Aaron T. Beck in 1961 and most recently updated in 1996, the “BDI” is a multiple choice self-test to measure symptoms of depression.  It is copyrighted by Dr. Beck, and so it is not published on this site, but you can get a copy of the test from a qualified therapist, and record your own responses.  The test measures 21 different symptoms of depression:

  1. Sadness
  2. Pessimism
  3. Past failure
  4. Loss of pleasure
  5. Guilty feelings
  6. Punishment feelings
  7. Self-dislike
  8. Self-criticalness
  9. Suicidal thoughts or wishes
  10. Crying
  11. Agitation
  12. Loss of interest
  13. Indecisiveness
  14. Worthlessness
  15. Loss of energy
  16. Changes in sleeping pattern
  17. Irritability
  18. Changes in appetite
  19. Concentration difficulty
  20. Tiredness or fatigue
  21. Loss of interest in sex

If you see symptoms on this list that strongly describe how you feel, then you should consider calling a qualified, licensed psychotherapist in your area, or a nearby community mental health clinic for help and advice on these issues.  If you feel seriously suicidal, you should call a friend or therapist for help, go to your nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911.

Act to take care of yourself.

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