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Are You Depressed? Ask Google

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide, affecting over 350 million people globally, according to WHO, the World Health Organization. Women can experience depression for a number of reasons in her life from her thyroid to her hormones, childbirth to child loss, body image, and much more.

The open conversations about mental health are new to mainstream culture. Though the world is approaching mental health with an increasingly compassionate position of seeking understanding, there is still a tremendous amount of shame and stigma that comes with the topic. When a woman might be struggling with depression, one of the first places she is likely to turn is the internet. More specifically, she’s going to “Google it”.

Google is designed to be aware which is why it offers the most helpful answers and site listings first after you enter a search term. For example, when someone types in anything including the word “suicide” the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number comes up with an option to make a call. Recently, Google announced a game-changing new feature for users of the internet. As of August of 2017, when users type “depression” into a Google search bar, a “Knowledge Panel” will appear offering users an opportunity to “Check if you’re clinically depressed”. Depression is a natural experience in human life, coming as part of the process for coping with grief, loss, and sadness. There are, however, critical differences between passing phases of depression and clinical phases of depression. Making a self-diagnosis on behalf of the internet has become a problem for people who can walk away from a few hours surfing the web convinced they have a myriad of diseases. Sent to PHQ-9, a screening questionnaire that has been approved by clinicians, users will have a better idea of what they are going through. More than a Buzzfeed quiz, this questionnaire was created in partnership with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. If a woman needs to know whether or not to seek clinical treatment for her depression and any problematic coping behaviors she might have developed as a result, like abusing drugs and alcohol, she can get an answer from Google. However, it is essential that she seeks a professional assessment and treatment as soon as possible.

You do not have to seek drugs, alcohol, and other harmful behaviors to cope with depression. Recovery and treatment is available to compassionately restore you to the strong, empowered and authentic woman that you are. Villa Tranquil offers women a unique transitional living program for continued clinical structure and care after a primary treatment program. Call us today for information on our healing and transformative lifestyle program today: 214-799-3080