A shock and plight scale for assessment of depression to prevent suicide in public figures
This paper proposes a scale that can be used by outreach activists for the assessment of depression to avoid suicide of public figures. This scale is developed based on known risk factors contributing to depression. Information on these risk factors is mostly available on celebrities and dignitaries from the sources in public domain, allowing the proposed scale to be used by an outreach activist, unlike all the existing scales including HDRS, PHQ-9, and BDI which require self-reporting by the subject. The risk factors are divided into plight and shock/trauma. The score assigned to the former varies over time, whereas the score attributed to the latter remains constant. Cumulative score of a subject on the scale is estimated on any point in time under study as an algebraic sum of individual scores assigned to individual risk factors. Subjects of study are celebrities, who were studied through their profiles, biographies, interviews, and news items available in public domain. They were scored on the proposed scale considering the life events and situation facing them. Out of 18 subjects, 9 were suicidal and 9 were non-suicidal. The scale appears to provide clear dichotomy between suicidal and non-suicidal subjects. The Student’s t-test suggests that the proposed shock and plight scale can be used to assess depression and identify individuals who are potentially at a risk of suicide.
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