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. 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 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: 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 that is because of the life stressors they often had to deal with without much choice. These include financial strain, death or loss of loved ones, relationship problems, and other medical issues.

 What age group of individuals has the highest rate of depression?

The highest rate of a major depressive episode is prevalent and higher among adults. It usually includes approximately 8.7% of females and 5.3% of males.


Again, my mental health condition is not something I love to have. Not because I endure it, it does not mean I like to stick with it forever. Depression sucks. But as of now, managing my symptoms is all I need to focus on to still function and have a better life.