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Am I Depressed? Google Search Plays Doctor With Americans' Mental Health

International Business Times

These days one of the first things most young Americans do when they have a question about their mental health isn't call a doctor. According to Forbes, Google's records reveal 5 percent of searches are related to health. So Google is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness for a new feature. Within a few days, US-based people who search for topics related to " depression " via Google's search engine will be prompted to take a clinically approved mental health questionnaire called a PHQ-9. This is a huge step forward, since the Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates only 37 percent of the people suffering from anxiety disorders actually get treatment.

Google put an anxiety self-assessment in search


Google wants to help the approximately 48 million American adults who live with anxiety-related disorders find support. Starting today, the company's search engine will allow users in the US to complete a Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire from home. When you look for information about anxiety, you'll see the seven-question survey appear inside the knowledge panel, the part of the platform's interface that highlights some of the more pertinent facts related to your search query. The clinically-validated survey includes some of the same questions a health professional might ask a patient in person. It is designed to provide perspective to those who feel anxious about how their symptoms compare to ones experienced by other people.

More than a THIRD of pregnant women are depressed due Covid-19 pandemic

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Pregnant women and new mothers are suffering from more mental health problems than normal due to increased stress brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Questionnaires dished out to 1,123 women in the US between May and August assessed the impact the coronavirus outbreak had on depression, anxiety and PTSD. It revealed more than a third (36.4 per cent) were depressed, compared to 15-20 per cent before the pandemic Moreover, one in five (22.7 per cent) reported'clinically significant' levels of anxiety, and 10.3 per cent reported symptoms of PTSD. These figures are significantly higher than normal as between ten and 20 per cent of women normally suffer from mental health issues during pregnancy. 'We know the perinatal period is already a time in which women are particularly vulnerable to mental health concerns,' said study author Dr Cindy Liu from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Massachusetts.

Single people coped better with lockdown than those in unhappy relationships, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Single people found it easier to cope during coronavirus lockdown than those in an unhappy relationship - but those in a happy relationship had it best, study finds. Experts from Danube University surveyed more than 1,000 Austrians a month into lockdown to get a picture of the link between relationship status and emotion state. People in an unhappy relationship were three times as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than singles or happy couples, the team discovered. Those who were happy in their relationship fared best out of all groups, showing a higher general level of mental health wellbeing than singles or unhappy couples. The findings of the survey'underline the fact that not only but especially in times like this, the choice of partner should be carefully considered,' the team wrote.

Google's depression tool 'could cause more harm than good'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google's screening tool that enables people to check online whether they are clinically depressed could do more harm than good, one expert has warned. Last month, the tech giant released a self-assessment quiz, called the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), which pops up as a result for the search query'Am I depressed?' on a computer or cell phone. Google developed its test in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) but one professor claims that the quiz could just lead to over-treatment of depression amid the US's opioid epidemic. He warns the tool's development was funded by major drug company Pfizer, which profits from the sale of antidepressants. When you type'depression' into Google on your computer or mobile phone, it gives you the option to take its new screening test Google and NAMI both stressed that the results of their test are not an actual diagnosis.