How Can I Take A Mental Disorder Test?
By: Sarah Fader
Updated January 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Deaver, LCSW
Have you started to wonder about some of the behaviors that you have or some of the little things that you do? Maybe you're wondering if there is something you're doing that might be a sign or symptom of a mental health disorder; or someone you know may have suggested that you have some odd habits. If that sounds like you then maybe you've thought about a mental disorder test, and you may have been curious about just how it works. The truth is it's easy to find.
The Mental Disorder Test
There are several different tests that you can take, and depending on your psychiatrist, you may take one or more of them to determine if you have a predisposition toward a specific mental disorder or symptoms of any of a variety of disorders. The basic mental health assessment doesn't even require you to speak with a psychiatrist first. You can find a simple, 20-minute questionnaire right online, waiting for you. All you do is answer a few questions, and you'll find out more about yourself in just a short amount of time. This is not the same test a psychiatrist would give you, but it is a good place to start to assess where you are and what type of help you may need.
The most important thing about this type of test is that you must be completely honest. Tests like this one have time limits, and it's important that you follow each of the time limits and respond to the questions by instinct rather than thinking too carefully about them. Reacting on instinct will make it much easier for you to get an accurate reading of what you think or feel in response to each question, and will serve as a much better indicator of your tendencies or actions. At the same time, however, it's important to look at each question carefully.
Make sure you read the full question before you answer, but make sure that you don't think too hard once you have. You need to understand what the question is asking of you to give an accurate answer, but thinking hard will skew your response and could lead you to choose a different answer. The important thing with this type of test is that you do not try to change your answers to what you think might be more appropriate or 'normal.' The entire point of the test is to get an accurate understanding of your mental health risk, after all.
How It Works
One common mental disorder test consists of 60 questions, which focus on a variety of different factors and aspects of mental health. These include anxiety, trauma, drug use, manic episodes and more. In general, the test will look at your tendencies toward eight different mental health conditions, including substance use disorder, major depressive disorder, manic episodes, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and panic attacks. It will then give you a score for each of these classifications that lets you know whether or not it's an area you should look at more closely.
Each of the questions is easy to answer, with yes/no and multiple choice style questions to make sure that you can get to an answer simply. The entire test should only take 15 minutes at the most, though you may be able to fill it out even faster than that. The key is going to be honesty and accuracy, so make sure that you go through everything completely, and then when you've finished the test, take a look at the graphs and detail sections to find out more about your scores.
Each aspect of the test is scored out of 100, and that gives you a good idea of what your tendencies are toward each of those mental health problems. It's important to know which disorders rank higher or lower on the scale, so you can make sure you're approaching your psychologist with the right questions and the right concerns as well. You'll know which specific situations are causing you the most trouble and which symptoms are indicative of something else. Just make sure you take a look at everything your results say you tend toward, even if the score is lower.
What It Doesn't Do
Keep in mind that there are some different mental health disorders that this test doesn't check. That means you won't get an indication of whether you are leaning towards any mental health disorders but the ones listed. You also won't get a full diagnosis from this test. You'll need to speak with a mental health professional to get a true diagnosis. All this test can do is evaluate the answers that you provide to let you know whether you're on a spectrum of possibility for the mental disorders tested.
Once you've answered the test fully and you've been completely honest with your answers, you still need to seek out a professional to help you from there. Because this type of test is not given in a clinical setting, it's highly likely that other factors could influence it. It's also not entirely definitive, which means that your psychiatrist may give you another test or a different test to help with a more accurate and clear diagnosis. It's important that you're completely open and honest with all of the tests that you take and the information that they reveal.
Getting Treatment Overall
Most mental disorders do not have medications that will make it 'go away' or even take away most of the symptoms. Medication is only a piece of the puzzle. Research shows that taking medication prescribed by a doctor in addition to receiving therapy from a mental health professional is the most beneficial way to treat mental illness. Talking with a doctor, however, can be a great first step in the process. The key is making sure that you are open and honest right from the start so your doctor can find out everything they need to know about your symptoms.
Many symptoms could come about as a result of other medical conditions, or they could be related to side effects from different medications you may be taking. The important thing is to talk with your doctor to find out more about your overall physical health and go from there. If there is another reason for your symptoms, you'll find it much easier to treat that problem than to treat a mental health disorder in the first place. Starting out by going to a primary care physician to rule out anything physical going on is a good first step; but once you've done this, seeking a mental health professional to further assess your mental health concerns is a good idea.
Although sometimes medications require long-term use, keep in mind that medications are often only used in a short-term manner, as well. Doctors or psychiatrists may prescribe something as a temporary method of aiding your therapy sessions, but they usually won't want you to stay on those medications permanently or for an extended period if at all possible. Be open to the idea of therapy sessions, even if the results of your test seem to be mild or you feel like you can go it alone. Getting help is always going to be the best way, and it's going to help you work through whatever it is your facing as well.
A professional is going to be instrumental in working through the problems that you're facing. That's because they can take a look at your test and the results that you have and work with you to figure out what are the most important features and tendencies that you have. You'll be able to work on each of those things and then you'll be able to improve your life in general. That means you're going to be living your life the way that you want to—so make sure you are open and honest with your mental health professional.
Your mental healthprofessional needs to be someone that you're comfortable with, and that can be difficult when people only in your area limit you. So, what do you do? You sacrifice a little, and you simply accept someone that's around you even if you don't feel as comfortable as you would like. But that doesn't need to be the case at all. Instead, you can simply look at different ways to find a therapist of your own, and see the amazing benefits that are there from completely new sources.
Addressing Your Mental Health With BetterHelp
Recent research suggests that online counseling is an effective method of treatment for those experiencing a wide array of symptoms arising out of mental health issues. In a broad-based study published in World Psychiatry, researchers looked at the efficacy of online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) when treating a number of mental health conditions. They found that online CBT is a more accessible form of therapy than face-to-face counseling, which is consistent with a number of other studies pointing to the increased flexibility of online platforms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals understand the problematic thoughts that are often underlying unwanted emotions and behaviors related to a mental health disorder.
As mentioned above, online therapy can be a valuable tool when you want to learn more about symptoms from a possible mental disorder. BetterHelp is an online program that lets you connect with mental health professionals from the comfort and convenience of your home. The qualified professionals at BetterHelp know how to give you guidance on the path to better mental health. Read below for reviews, from those who have sought help in the past.
“I worked with another counselor for over 6 months before working with Arielle Ballard. In one 30 minute session, I got more accomplished in terms of structuring goals, building coping mechanisms, and recognizing thought patterns, than I had in the 6 months working with the other counselor. I'm pleased with my progress and am very greatful to Arielle.”
“I am so happy Alicia and I were matched. She is warm and funny and intelligent. She established a nice rapport very quickly and I felt understood by her right from the beginning. I feel easy with her and feel she is my ally. A couple months into counseling I feel we are on a good trajectory together. I struggle with bipolar disorder rapid cycling, and having a person like Alicia, there to listen to my week’s events and then go deeper into my “self”, is as important to my stability as medication is. I am learning some new skills like DBT. Alicia is also quite insightful and has given me things to really consider several times already, often having this knack of hitting the nail on the head. Alicia is easy to recommend.”
“Tahzeeb abides by her description. Empathetic therapy, but straight to the point which is exactly what I need. She is personable, and is very confident/competent with her knowledge. Her therapy is very conversational, which I quite enjoy versus just yacking at someone. I would recommend her services to anyone looking for mental health assistance.”
It can be difficult to parse your feelings and figure out whether they’re associated with a mental disorder. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness, or just want to work through your emotions, reach out to a professional today.
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