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For purposes of Class 1/2 certification, depression is assessed using a questionnaire (The Hamilton Depression Scale) which is completed by the examining medical officer.  This measures all common symptoms of depression and their severity.  The symptoms which are being assessed include mood, (sadness, hopeless, worthlessness), guilt, restlessness and insomnia, work and leisure interests, cognitive functions (speech, motor activity), anxious thoughts and symptoms, libido, eating and weight changes, insight into illness,  thoughts about suicide, paranoia, and changes in thinking.  The score is based upon the medical officer’s assessment of the pilot’s current state. 

Other measures commonly used in assessing depression (but not for licence certification) are self report measures, such as the Beck Depression Inventory.  Many people find it useful to complete these type of instruments weekly, to monitor their progress.  They are also regularly used in the treatment of depression. 



Examining medical officers use a particular questionnaire but there is also a self-report measure that you can complete below. It will take 5-10 minutes and its paper & pencil for your complete anonymity.


0   I do not feel sad.

1   I feel sad.

2   I am sad all the time and I can't snap out of it. 

3   I am so sad and unhappy that I can't stand it.


0   I am not particularly discouraged about the future.

1   I feel discouraged about the future.

2   I feel I have nothing to look forward to.

3   I feel the future is hopeless and that things cannot improve.


0   I do not feel like a failure.

1   I feel I have failed more than the average person.

2   As I look back on my life, all I can see is a lot of failures. 

3   I feel I am a complete failure as a person.


0   I get as much satisfaction out of things as I used to. 

1   I don't enjoy things the way I used to.

2   I don't get real satisfaction out of anything anymore. 

3   I am dissatisfied or bored with everything.


0   I don't feel particularly guilty

1   I feel guilty a good part of the time. 

2   I feel quite guilty most of the time. 

3   I feel guilty all of the time.


0   I don't feel I am being punished. 

1   I feel I may be punished.

2   I expect to be punished.

3   I feel I am being punished.


0   I don't feel disappointed in myself. 

1   I am disappointed in myself.

2   I am disgusted with myself.

3   I hate myself.

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Beck Depression Inventory



  • On a piece of paper, record the number of the statement (0-3) that best describes how you have been feeling during the last  two weeks, including today.

  • If two statements seem to apply equally well, pick the highest.

  • Only record one number for each question.

  • When you reach the end, add all the numbers up together to form an overall total.

  • Follow the Interpret Results link at the bottom of this page to see what your scores imply. 

  • There are 21 questions in all.

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