How to diagnose that you are depressed? Try Burn Depression Checklist (BDC).

 How to diagnose that you are depressed? Try Burn Depression Checklist (BDC checklist). Are you worried about your mood? Do negative thoughts always follow you? Do you tend to postpone your work? Then it can be a symptom of depression.

How to diagnose that you are depressed? Try Burn Depression Checklist (BDC).


Depression has appeared as catastrophic for human society. It engulfed our youths. Depression is called the common cold of psychiatric disturbance.

But it is not a common cold because it leads to death. Suicide is the best example caused by Depression.

 Due to the spread of depression. We face a double challenge.

On one front we fight for our existence in the world. And on another front, we fight with ourselves.

We know fighting with others is always easier than fighting with ourselves. Our inner conflict is the main reason behind our mental weakness.

Which leads to depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.

So in this article, we know about what depression is and how we diagnose it. By using Burn Depression Checklist.



Depression means feelings of severe despondency and dejection. Depression is related to mood disorders.


   Depression is feeling sad, angry, fearful and loss of confidence in day to day life.


   It is normal in life to face ups and downs. Everyone faces ups and downs and feel sad and upset. But when the upset and sadness become our part of life.


   This means we feel hopeless or give up on everyday activities. We have to be alert about it. It may be a sign of depression.


   According to a WHO report, Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected.


   Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.


    At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.


To counter the effect of depression and give relief to the patient, many antidepressant drugs and tranquillizers are available on the market.


These drugs adversely affect our minds because of their side effects. It makes patients addicted to these drugs. That they became slaves of these drugs.


They think that they cannot manage their life without it. This means whether their depression is cured or not they invited a new disease.


So, in the mid1950s and early 1960s, doctors Albert Ellis and Aaron T Beck invented “cognitive therapy”. Which brought a revolution in the field of treatment of depression.


Cognitive therapy is a fast-acting technology of mood modification, that you can learn to apply on your own. It can help you to eliminate the symptoms and experience personal growth.


The therapy was further described by DR David D Burns (a mental health professional) in his book Feeling Good: The new mood therapy.

He described how to diagnose your mood or Depression by Burn Depression Checklist (BDC).


Burn Depression Checklist.


The Burns depression checklist helps you to know about your mood. It is a reliable mode measuring device that detects the presence of depression and accurately rates its severity.


Burn Depression Checklist
Image source- feeling good: the new mood therapy handbook by Dr David D burns.

Burn depression checklist is a questionnaire that includes 25 questions divided into four headings. 

The four heads are 1. Feeling and thoughts- In this heading, all 10 questions are related to feelings and emotions. Like, feeling of dump, hopelessness, guilty, blue mood, and decision making.


2. Activity and personal relationship- In this heading, all 7 questions are related to activity and personal relationships. Like, relationship with family, interest in work, loss of motivation, and avoidance of work.


3. Physical symptom- In this heading, all five questions are related to physical symptoms. Like, sexual life, appetite and sleeping disorder.


4. Suicidal urges- In this heading, all three questions are related to suicidal urges. Like, suicidal thoughts, end your life and plan to end your life.


Answer section 


You give your answer by the sign of check (✓). The answer section is divided into 5 parts. 0 not at all, 1 somewhat, 2 moderately, 3 a lot, 4 extremely.


As you fill out your questionnaire, read each question carefully. Make sure that there is no doubt in your mind about your answer. Do not leave any questions, all are compulsory. If you have some doubts, make your best guess.


How do you interpret the Burn Depression Checklists? (According to Burn)


You give yourself a score between 0 to 100. 0 to 5 indicate no depression, 6 to 10 indicate normal but unhappy, 11 to 25 indicate mild depression, 26 to 50 indicate a moderate level of depression, 51 to 75 indicates severe depression and 76 to 100 indicate extreme depression.


When you complete the questionnaire. According to your score, you will know immediately whether or not. You are suffering from true depression. If so, how severe it is. 


Interpretation of burn Depression Checklist
Image source- feeling good: the new mood therapy handbook by Dr David D burns.


According to Burn, in which condition do you need professional help? 


If your score is between 0 to 5. Probably you feel good already. This is the range of normal and most people who score this low feel Pretty happy.


If your score is between 6 to 10. You are still in the range of normal, probably feeling a bit lumpy. There is room for improvement. Only you need to tune up yourself.


If your score is between 11 to 25. Your depression is mild and should not be a cause for alarm. You will want to correct this problem, and you will be able to make substantial progress on your own.


If your score is between 26 to 50. It means you are moderately depressed. This score sometimes indicates pretty intense suffering.


If your score remains in this range for one or two weeks. You need to visit a professional.

If your score is between 50 to 75. It indicates severe depression, especially above 75. You need to visit a professional.


In addition to evaluating your total score on the BDC. Burn warn, to be sure you are paying special attention to the items or questions on  23, 24 and 25 numbers. 

These questions ask about suicidal feelings, urges, and plans.

Many depressed individuals have elevated scores on questions number 23 but zero on questions number 24 and 25. This usually means that they have suicidal thoughts.


This is quite common. If your score on questions number 24 and 25 are elevated. You seek treatment immediately. It is also important for you to look at question number 22.


Which asks, if you have been more worried about your health-related issues. You may need to consult with your family doctor. He will explain that your worry about your health is right or wrong.


According to Burn, a research study has demonstrated that the burn depression checklist is highly accurate and reliable.

You can use the burn depression checklist with confidence to monitor your progress as well as in the clinical work.


He has insisted that every patient must fill out the test in all the sessions. It gives him a parameter to judge the recovery rate of a patient.

The best practice is to use the burn depression checklist at least once a week for a better result.


So, by the use of a burn depression checklist. You can diagnose your depression level by yourself. But it’s better to approach any medical professionals. Before your disease will be worst.


Treat mental disorders like other disorders or diseases. Because in our society there is still a misconception about mental illness. We treated it as a stigma in society.

Best of luck.

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I am a common man, with the common purpose of life, defeat many times like everyone. But one thing which keeps me in the race of life. Never give up, continue, be patient, and be passionate. I believe in sharing. So, I start this blog with the purpose to thrive your mind and thrive your future. By giving motivational, personal development, mental and financial well being, relationship, habits and thoughts tips. Which I experienced in my life. Experience is the best teacher you can trust.

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