depression help online

This is where you can find out about the things women say make them depressed.

These things are listed together and presented to you in an Inventory so you can compare yourself against what the women in the research believe.

You will get a score showing your risk level for depression compared to them.

This research based information is provided to you free and anonymously. You will not be tracked or invaded like other web sites do. We care about your privacy.

Go to the bottom of this page to find out quickly how you compare to the women the Inventory is based on.

The Inventory (questionnaire) will load and operate better on a PC or tablet.

Before scrolling down to the link for the Inventory, please read in particular the health waiver below. Also, when creating a logon to go to the Inventory you will be asked to acknowledge your acceptance of the Terms of Service for the Inventory and this site.

The 'Self-Help Inventory For Targeting Depression' (SHIFT-Depression® Inventory) is based on research conducted with women and will no doubt have meaning for other women too.

The Inventory describes issues which women identify as combining to produce their depression. If you complete the Inventory, the 24 issues or questions may give you insights into things you probably hadn't thought mattered as much as they do or you may have forgotten about. The questions are grouped into four areas (physical, thoughts & feelings, relationships, community support) which all interact together.

Completing the Inventory and finding out about any things affecting you may also help prevent you from becoming depressed or, because of having this new information, it may reduce any feelings you have of being stuck or powerless.

Because community survey data has found consistently that twice as many women as men will suffer with depression during their life cycle, medical experts have tried to make a link to the hormonal differences between women and men, arguing that women themselves and their bodies were at fault due to unpredictable hormones or biochemistry.

This 'faulty bodies' thinking is overly simplistic and we now know that depression, although triggered perhaps by one thing, also combines with negative life events as well as the influence of sex role stereotyping to produce a depressive episode.

The results of research using the SHIFT-Depression® Inventory found women identified their depression as connected to abuse and betrayal in relationships, social roles they were expected to fulfil, having less power and control over their lives, and being isolated. When you consider combining poor physical health or diet, isolation, societal and interpersonal messages influencing you to conform to sex role stereotypes and be a 'good woman'; as well as negative life events or triggers, it becomes easier to see how subtle combinations of things will lead to depression for some women.

Because sex role stereotyping for men and what it means to be a 'good man' is different than for women, separate research needs to be conducted with men to get to the heart of their experience of depression. The SHIFT-Depression® Inventory may be helpful to men but is offered primarily to women simply because the research was conducted with women.

To find out more about the research, including why only women were involved, go to the Background page.

Health waiver:

It is important to be aware that all of the information provided on this site and within the SHIFT-Depression® Inventory can not replace a face to face consultation with a health provider and does not provide a diagnosis or treatment for depression.

It is strongly recommended that you combine the information provided to you on this site and via the Inventory, with personal support with a health professional to find out if you are depressed and make a plan for treatment.

Your score will only compare you against the women who were part of the research and does not tell you whether or not you are depressed. The information pages are information only and are not recommendations or treatment.

Because being isolated is one of the issues many depressed people experience, looking for support online can feed into staying isolated. Therefore it is important if you're feeling you're at risk of depression, are depressed, or are on this site because you know someone you think is depressed, that you or they resist going it alone and instead seek support from a health professional who is understanding.

If you're in Australia and need to talk to someone now, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224636.

If you're feeling unsafe, you should go to your nearest hospital for immediate help.


Click to request Inventory by email questionnaire

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women’s responses to SHIFT-Depression® Inventory

‘It stares you in the face, the reasons …why you became depressed!’

‘The questions are very clear. You go ‘Oh wow! …I’d forgotten about that (issue).’

‘Oh, I didn’t realise that was such an issue for me!’

‘That helps me understand some things now.’

‘It covers so many areas and connects things.’

‘It feels positive to think about what things could help me and gives me some direction.’

‘I feel more optimistic after focusing on what things might help to alleviate my depression.’


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