Speaking to the Financial Times, Google product manager Vidushi Tekriwal said users who fill out the test will not have their answers logged by the company, nor would advertising be targeted to them as a result. "We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment", declared Alliance CEO Mary Giliberti.
According to NAMI, clinical depression is common condition with nearly one in five Americans experiencing the symptoms in their life.
Users can make use of the PHQ-9 questionnaire that is available directly via Google search results to get a more informed opinion about their depression before they get in touch with a doctor regarding the same.
According to Google, the technology giant will now offer a questionnaire to anyone in the United States who searches "depression" or "clinical depression" that will assist in diagnosing the disease. By clicking the prompt, a mobile user will be directed to a page with the PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire that assesses an individual's likely level of depression.
The test aims to help determine a person's depression and his or her need for an in-person medical evaluation.
People who have symptoms of depression often wait six to eight years after they start experiencing them before they seek treatment for something that is treatable, she wrote.
According to Forbes, Google has said that 5 percent of all internet searches are health-related, though it's unclear how many of them are specifically related to mental health.
Kamkar noted while the Google tool adds to the "diverse venues to spread information", it's important it is used in a "healthy way".
More women are affected by depression than men. According to some studies, even in rich countries only 20% of people seek care for major depressive disorder. Many people believe self-diagnosis could be a substitute for hard conversations with a physician, especially when it comes to health issues that still carry shame and stigma such as those related to mental health.
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