Frequently Asked Questions About Geriatric Depression Scale

Understanding depression is not a thing I intend to put effort into. I don’t like the idea that I struggle with a mental health condition, but I don’t like to know more about it either. I don’t like the thought of knowing a lot about it as it will only make me feel worried and fearful about my current situation. That is because, as of now, aside from being depressed, I am also emotionally unstable. Thus, learning more about my condition will only make my life miserable as I know the truth can somehow put me in a lot of emotional and mental agony.


But honestly, I am not closing doors in learning. Perhaps my decision to disregard important information only comes from disbelief that I have to suffer from this God-knows-how-long mental health issue. Also, it is not that I don’t want to listen or seek professional advice; I just do not feel the need at the moment. I may sound too cocky, but I perfectly understand how things are despite my emotional and mental instability.

But for some reference of the symptoms I am dealing with, I rely more upon my sources to GDS or Geriatric Depression Scale. If you don’t know what it is, here are the answered frequently asked questions about it.

What does the Geriatric Depression Scale measure?

GDS or the Geriatric Depression Scale is a screening tool that measures symptoms of depression, mostly in older adults. Participants of GDS respond in a Yes or No format to a 30-item instrument. But it is essential to realize that GDS does not guarantee a hundred percent assessment, nor should it provide concrete medical diagnoses. It only serves as an effective tool to screen or determine moderate to severe depression that will require a referral to a mental health specialist or psychologist.

 What is the Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form?

The GDS or Geriatric Depression Scale’s short-form holds a 15-question screening mechanism suitable for measuring depression symptoms in older adults. Usually, the process takes a few minutes, five to almost seven. It gets administered by a professional health care provider with minimal training in its use, provided to be filled out by the patient.

 Is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) a reliable screening tool?

The research demonstrated that the GDS-30 is strongly a reliable screening tool that follows a ‘gold standard’ in determining moderate to severe depressive symptoms. It is fast and more convenient to administer and score. But of course, it requires a referral to a licensed mental health expert or a psychologist by the physical therapist or clinician.

 When using the Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form, which does a score of 1 to 5 indicates?

When a patient scores less than 5 points, it means he or she is suggestive of depression and should warrant a comprehensive follow-up assessment. A score that is less than equal to 10 points is often almost symptomatic of depression.

 Who created the Geriatric Depression Scale?

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a 30-item self-report instrument that measures depression symptoms in older adults. It processes through the use of a “Yes/No” format, answered by the patient experiencing a mental health problem. It is a screening test originally produced in 1982 by J.A. Yesavage and his collaborators.

 How do you score the Zung depression scale?

Each item of the Zung depression scale is scored on a Likert scale that ranges from 1 to 4. A total score is concluded by adding the individual item scores, ranging from 20 to 80 from the questionnaire. From there, people with a score between 50 and 69 indicate having mild depression, while a score of 70 and above designates severe depression.

 How do you score the Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scale?

The Zung Self-Rating that a potential range score scales anxiety. The normal range is 20-44, mild to moderate anxiety levels are at 45-59, the severe anxiety levels rest at 60-74, and extreme anxiety levels go with a score of 75 and above.

 How do you score the Beck Anxiety Inventory?

To score Beck Anxiety Inventory, each item’s values should get a sum of yielding a total score for all 21 symptoms. These should range between 0 and 63 points. From there, a total score of 0 – 7 can be interpreted as the least level of anxiety, while the 8 – 15 holds a mild implication. The 16 – 25 designates to a moderate state, and the 26 – 63 scores represent a severe mental health state.

 Who can use the Beck Depression Inventory?

The current version of the BDI-II is designed for people aged 13 and over. Typically, the Beck Depression Inventory is composed of items relating to symptoms of depression, including irritability, hopelessness, anger, and loneliness. It also scales cognitions such as guilt or overwhelming feelings. It also scales physical symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and lack of interest in physical activities.


 Is there an anxiety scale?

Yes. In fact, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale or HAM-A is one of the first rating scales that is widely used today in both clinical and research settings, developed to measure the severity of anxiety symptoms. It is STAI that briefly administer and does not require an expensive cost to measure general anxiety.

 What is the highest level of anxiety?

Usually, the level of distress and impairment typically classify Anxiety levels. It gets experienced into common categories such as mild, moderate, and severe. However, aside from severe cases, there is still the highest form, which is the panic level of anxiety. Panic attacks are intense, often uncontrollable, and overwhelming feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, choking sensation, hyperventilation, shivering, hot flashes or chills, headache, and fatigue.

 What happens if anxiety is left untreated?

Untreated anxiety often leads to a lot of complications in the physical, emotional, and mental aspects. In some cases, it even causes other mental disorders, such as substance abuse or depression. Individuals with untreated anxiety often tend to have a higher risk of self-isolation, suicide, or self-harm behaviors.

 Can you get rid of anxiety forever?

Unfortunately, there is no chance you can stop or get rid of anxiety forever. That is because it doesn’t vanish since it is more like any other feeling you have, such as frustration, anger, sadness, happiness, love, and so on. It is an emotion that you cannot eliminate from your brain because it serves a purpose in your life.

 At what age does anxiety peak?

It is vital to realize that each person’s anxiety levels are different. Thus, their experience and coping strategies differ, as well. However, the mental health condition usually peaks in adults whose ages are 30 to 44. That is approximately 23% of people in the particular age group. Perhaps …

Frequently Asked Questions in Psychotherapy in PTSD

It is not fully clear how humans developed emotions, but we already understand its significance for forging connections and communicating with others. Fear, in particular, has been keeping us safe from harm. It is also a normal feeling after encountering a traumatic event or loss. However, some may find it difficult to move on from the trauma even after some time, which is a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.


Post-traumatic stress disorder is mental health disorder affecting people who had experienced or witness terrifying events like death, accidents, and violence. Some people may start showing symptoms a month after the trigger; others may not display any signs until years after the trauma. These may come and go and vary in intensity, depending on what triggered the memories or fear.

The common symptoms of PTSD are intrusive memories, isolation, emotional numbness, and anxiety. This condition also affects concentration and sleeping, which significantly impacts people’s quality of life with this problem. It also has effects on relationships and work and thus needs proper care and treatment.

Fortunately, several methods can help individuals deal with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Medications can help improve its symptoms. Some drugs for PTSD are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, and prazosin.


Sometimes, medication alone is not enough, and you may need to undergo therapy. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is constructive for people with PTSD. It can help them understand their condition and what they can do to control its symptoms and deal with its triggers.

There are several types of talk therapy, and your doctor will help determine what type will work best for you. Cognitive processing therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and exposure therapy are the most common methods used for people with PTSD.

Here are some frequently asked questions about different talk therapy methods for people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

How effective is cognitive processing therapy?

Cognitive processing therapy effectively reduces total post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) checklist scores. CPT is useful in treating the trauma by challenging the negative thoughts. This type of treatment allows for a better perspective on things that the trauma tends to cloud.

Is cognitive processing therapy evidence-based?

Yes, CPT is an evidence-based therapy. Rigorous scientific studies conducted by professionals and experts in the field have proven CPT to be effective.

Who developed cognitive processing therapy?
Dr. Patricia Resick developed cognitive processing therapy with the help of other psychologists and experts. The treatment goal is to manage PTSD for those who experienced sexual assault.

What is the best medication for PTSD?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are the recommended medications for those who have PTSD. The most effective SSRI/SNRI medications for those who have PTSD are

  • sertraline (Zoloft),
  • venlafaxine (Effexor),
  • fluoxetine (Prozac), and
  • paroxetine (Paxil).

How long is cognitive processing therapy?

Generally, CPT is done in 12 sessions, ideally in three months. This duration aims to help patients understand how to challenge and reform the unhelpful beliefs related to their trauma. The goal is for the patient to understand and have a new perspective of the traumatic event to reduce its adverse effects on the patient’s day-to-day life.

What therapy is best for trauma?

There are a lot of therapies available to overcome trauma, but the standard treatments are:

  • Pharmacotherapy: use of medications to manage the disruptive reactions caused by the trauma
  • Behavior Therapy: also known as exposure therapy, wherein you will face the same situation that caused the trauma, minus the feared consequences that arose from it.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: it is a type of therapy wherein the patient is taught to correct and change their thoughts and increase their knowledge and skills. An example of this is breathing exercises.
  • Group Therapy: therapy wherein there is a specific support group for the type of trauma encountered. It can be a peer group or a group that has a therapist leading the group.

What are stuck points?

Some thoughts obstruct us from recovering, and they are called stuck points. They are negative thoughts composed of blaming oneself for the trauma encountered, and these points are usually concise and direct.

Who needs cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT is a beneficial therapy that treats mental health disorders, like depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CBT isn’t only confined to those who suffer from mental health problems. It can also be a useful tool to help those who want to learn how to manage stressful life situations in a much better way.

How do I get certified in cognitive processing therapy?

To be a certified provider in cognitive processing therapy, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must have a professional licensure/registration as a mental health professional, with psychotherapy in the scope of practice
  2. Must have completed the CPT web, with an attached certificate of completion
  3. Must participate in a live CPT training that was held by either a treatment developer or a registered CPT Trainer
  4. Must have total participation of 20 hours in an authorized group Cognitive Processing Therapy consultation, including a discussion of own clients on the call. Or a minimum of 12 hours of supervision in an individual Cognitive Processing Therapy.
  5. Must complete preliminaries of at least four individual CPT cases or two group CPT or a combination. Must also complete (including early client success outcomes) two individual CPT treatment cases, two group CPT, or one CPT group, and one individual case.
  6. Must use at least one regulated means to evaluate the weekly progress of the PTSD symptoms with each of the above cases.
  7. Submission of case notes, PCL scores, and worksheet samples or stuck point logs are requested for evaluation.

How effective are PTSD treatments?

PTSD treatments, like CBT, are found to be highly effective, especially for patients who suffered from traumatic events. While it does not permanently cure the symptoms of PTSD, it dramatically helps with their day to day life. Studies show that people who go through treatment improve the skills to help individuals deal with the said condition.

Is Prolonged exposure therapy evidence-based?

Prolonged exposure is beneficial for people living with PTSD. It is the first-line treatment for those who have PTSD. It helps the person efficiently deal with memories, situations, and feelings related to trauma.

What is an impact statement in cognitive processing therapy?

Impact statements are essays written by CPT clients at the onset of treatment and are written again before the last therapy session. The clients describe how the traumatic event happened, what it meant to them, and how it affected how they viewed themselves, the people around them, and the world.

What are stuck points in cognitive processing therapy?

Sometimes, we have statements about ourselves, others, or the world that are extreme, exaggerated, and often harmful. These thoughts and ideas focus on the five themes covered in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) treatment: trust, safety, esteem, …