There are various self-report measures to assess depression that doctors may use to diagnose someone. While there are no diagnostic criteria for anger, tests can evaluate anger emotions and possible contexts where they are more likely to occur.

This article looks at depression and anger tests and how to interpret their results. It also explores depression and anger, their symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments.

A person who is feeling angry or depressed.Share on Pinterest
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The severity and frequency of depressive symptoms vary from person to person. Some will experience only a few symptoms, while others will experience many.

Below are the symptoms of depression:

  • depressed mood
  • reduction in interest or pleasure (anhedonia)
  • sleep disturbances
  • guilt feelings or thoughts of worthlessness
  • fatigue or energy changes
  • problems concentrating
  • weight changes
  • suicidal thoughts
  • slowing or increase in physical movements

Anger can happen as a result of an internal or external event and denotes the body’s fight-or-flight response.

Anger is not a mental disorder. However, it may affect how a person behaves and feels physically and mentally.

Physical symptoms include:

  • chest tightness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • tense muscles
  • stomach-churning
  • feeling hot
  • sweaty hands, which usually denotes anxiety

A person will also have mental symptoms:

  • nervousness or tension
  • inability to relax
  • irritability
  • humiliation
  • resentment

An angry person may also present with behavior changes, including:

  • shouting
  • sulking
  • ignoring people
  • breaking things
  • starting fights
  • self-harming

There are many diagnostic tools to assess depression and some tools do exist to assess anger.

Based on the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), a person must have five or more symptoms listed above within 2 weeks to receive a diagnosis of depression.

At least one of those 5 or more symptoms must be depressed mood or anhedonia for a person to receive a depression diagnosis.

Physicians and mental health clinicians consider psychological self-report tests diagnostic tools.

On the other hand, DSM-5-TR does not classify anger as a mental disorder. For this reason, there are no diagnostic criteria for anger issues.

Although it is a key criterion in several mental health conditions, including:

Feeling angry is not always a sign of a mental health condition. However, doctors may associate it with certain types of disorders. A person can speak with a doctor to help determine the underlying cause.

The Patient Health Questionnaire is an example of an assessment a physician or psychologist may use in their clinic may help diagnose depression.

These statements cover how often the following statements have bothered the person over the last 2 weeks.

QuestionsNot at allSeveral daysMore than half the daysNearly every day
1. Little interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
2. Feeling down, empty, or hopeless
3. Poor appetite or overeating
4. Trouble sleeping or staying asleep, or getting too much sleep
5. Feeling tired or lacking energy
6. Feeling like a failure or bad about yourself, or letting down your family
7. Finding it hard to concentrate, such as reading or watching TV
8. Moving or speaking slowly, or acting fidgety in ways that other people could have noticed
9. Thoughts that you would be better off dead or hurting yourself in some way

Each answer has a corresponding point between zero to three.

A mental health professional will be the one to use this type of test and will interpret the results with a person. A person must consult a psychologist or medical professional to determine their score and diagnosis.

A person should not use this test to diagnose depression. However, a high score may indicate that a person may be at risk of harming themselves.

Regardless of their score, a person who thinks they need help or mental health support may call 911, call or text 988, or go to

Learn more about mental health services available.

Depression is a treatable condition. Medication or psychotherapy can relieve depressive symptoms.

Management for depression includes medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, and psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be a promising area for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). TRD is a subset of major depressive disorder that does not respond to traditional and first-line therapeutic options.

A 2020 review suggests that further research is necessary to understand suitable and effective treatment options.

Other areas of their research include:

Read more about depression and anger links and treatments.

At present, there are no specific diagnostic criteria for anger. Doctors will determine if a person is experiencing other mental health disorders based on their symptoms and behaviors.

However, the American Psychiatry Association offers a test as a resource. While not yet widely used, it is a reputable measure of anger.

For adults, the DSM-5-TR Level 2 cross-cutting questionnaire lists symptoms an adult may have felt during the past 7 days.

1. I was irritated more than people knew.
2. I felt angry.
3. I felt like I was ready to explode.
4. I was grouchy.
5. I felt annoyed.

For children between 11–17, the DSM-5-TR Level 2 cross-cutting questionnaire lists symptoms a child may have felt during the past 7 days.

QuestionsNeverAlmost neverSometimesOftenAlmost always
1. I felt mad.
2. I was so angry I felt like throwing
3. I was so angry I felt like yelling at
4. When I got mad, I stayed mad.
5. I felt fed up.
6. I felt upset.

Each answer has a corresponding point between 1–5 for both tests.

People must consult a mental health professional or psychologist to determine their or a child’s score and diagnosis.

A person should not use this test to diagnose anger. Regardless of the score, a person who thinks they need help with their anger or mental health support may call 911, call or text 988, or go to

The American Psychological Association offers several tips to help manage anger:

  • relaxation tools such as imagery and breathing exercises
  • cognitive restructuring
  • better planning and problem-solving
  • use of humor to defuse rage
  • practice better communication
  • change in one’s immediate surroundings
  • schedule the timing of talks

Psychologists and licensed mental health professionals can help people develop techniques and strategies to help change their thinking and behavior. They may also help a person build assertiveness during difficult situations.

Learn more about controlling anger.

Self-report measures exist to assess depression so doctors can provide a person with a diagnosis. While there are no specific diagnostic criteria for anger, doctors use certain tests to evaluate anger and possible contexts where it may be more likely to occur.

It is essential for people experiencing depressive or anger symptoms to consult a mental health professional or psychologist.