Depression – Diagnostic Interviewing

Time to read: 2 minutes

OPEN QUESTION How have you been feeling in yourself lately?

Depression DSM - V criteria



  • Have you felt low or depressed in yourself lately?
  • Have you felt low/depressed/tearful every day, for most of the day, in the last two weeks?
  • How does that affect you? (empathy)  It must be difficult to feel like that over such a long period. Tell me a bit more about the way you feel.
  • Does your mood improve or get worse as the day goes on (Diurnal variation)
  • When was the last time you smiled? (Mood)
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, if 10 was really, really down, where would you put yourself?



  • What are kinds of things that you normally enjoy doing? (Anhedonia)
  • Have you been enjoying these activities as much as you’ve done in the past? (Anhedonia)
  • When was the last time you were involved in (activity) (Anhedonia)



  • If have children/or working – Having two children must be quite a handful, I wonder how your energy levels keep up? (Anergia)
  • Have you been feeling unusually tired in yourself lately? (Anergia)
  • How have your energy levels been over the past couple of weeks?


Concentration/Decision Making

  • Have you been able to focus on things lately?
  • What’s your concentration like?
  • When you watch TV, are you able to follow what you watch?
  • Do you find it difficult to read books because you can’t concentrate? (if mention of reading as a hobby)
  • Have you had problems making decisions?
  • How has that affected you? (empathy)
  • Can you watch a half-hour television show from start to finish without losing your focus?



  • Since you’ve been feeling low, have you noticed any changes in your appetite?
  • Since you’ve been feeling low, have you noticed any changes to your weight?
  • Has it increased, decreased or stayed the same?
  • Have your clothes got any bigger or smaller on you?
  • Do you actually enjoy food as you usually would?



  • What has your sleep been like lately?
  • Do you find it difficult to fall asleep? (Initial insomnia)
  • Do you find it difficult to stay asleep? (Middle insomnia)
  • What time do you wake up? (Early morning wakening)
  • Is that usual for you?


Hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness

  • How do you see the future?
  • Do you see a future?
  • Is there anything hurting your conscience?
  • Do you ever blame yourself for what you are going through/experiencing?
  • How do you feel about yourself as a person?
  • How would you describe your confidence, self esteem?
  • Do you feel other people would be better off without you?



  • Have things got so bad, that you feel like life is not worth living?
  • What thoughts have you had?
  • How close have you come to doing any of the things you mentioned?
  • What stops you?
  • It is not unusual/sometimes when people feel low they may have thoughts of suicide/not wanting to be here… Have you ever felt that way?