Should I Take A Test For Stress, Anxiety, And Depression?

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated May 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Stress, anxiety, and depression each affect many people’s daily lives. Knowing which one you’re struggling with, however, can be difficult to determine. The symptoms that often come along with each of these mental health challenges can be very similar, but there are unique aspects of each that ultimately set them apart. Taking a depression, stress, and anxiety test can be a powerful starting point for improving your mental health. Although these tests do not replace the advice and counsel of a licensed medical provider, they can help you gain insight into your symptoms and encourage you to seek help depending on the results of the tests. When it comes to which depression and anxiety test to take, there are many options available, such as the teenage depression test.

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Stress, anxiety, and depression can have similar symptoms

Should I take a test for stress, anxiety, and depression? Tests for a mental illness or mental health condition

Mental health conditions are a common source of difficulty for many people. While some people may hate taking tests, this may be even more true when the test is about something that scares you such as being anxious or depressed. Some people may not want to believe that they are having problems or could possibly need help with anything, especially something like mental health. However, if you have been feeling more stressed out than usual or are not as interested in things that you usually like to do, it may benefit you to take one of these self-assessments. Take one of these tests when you want an idea of how you’re doing mentally. Many health conditions may go untreated if you are unaware of them, and a test can be a service that helps you discover what’s going on.

The results of stress, anxiety, and depression tests are not replacements for an official diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. However, they can be an effective preliminary assessment of the state of your mental well-being. If one of these tests indicates you have a mental health disorder, it’s vital to discuss the results with a doctor. If the results suggest you aren’t experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression, this doesn’t mean you don’t have symptoms of one of these conditions. 

In all instances, be sure not to jump to conclusions or attempt to diagnose yourself through one of these tests. Instead, speak to a medical provider. Those who do not seek treatment for mental health conditions may resort to self-medication, such as alcohol. The sooner you reach out to a professional, the sooner you can start the road to recovery. 

Kinds of mental health tests 

There are many types of stress, anxiety, and depression tests available online that you can take on your own. Just go to your preferred browser and find a stable website that allows you to reach mental health tests. Remember to keep safety in mind whenever using the internet. Some of the tests consist of just 10 or 15 questions that you can answer in a few minutes. Others can be more in-depth with 20 to 30 questions. Some are official, and others are for recreation. Your responses to the questions will determine the result, and so you should answer truthfully to receive a more accurate answer. 

Before you take one of these tests, it is important to know what kind of test you are taking so you can interpret the results reasonably. Knowing that you are taking a “just for fun” test versus an official test will likely change how you interpret your results, for example. Being responsible in this department can help you receive the correct information to pursue treatment.

It’s important to note that an online test cannot give you the insight a medical professional can. If you think you may have a mental illness, speak with your doctor or therapist to determine the most effective course of action.

The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Test is an official test developed by medical professionals. It is designed to meet the scientific requirements of both research and professional clinicians. Please note that this test should only be completed with a qualified medical professional. It is designed to measure the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress and uses a scale rating system to measure the severity of a range of symptoms. 

This test is like a mini-depression test, anxiety test, and stress test all wrapped up into one. You will be asked to work through 42 different questions and indicate the extent to which you have experienced a particular symptom or emotional state over the past week. This test can be taken by both adolescents and adults, but it is not designed to be a comprehensive diagnostic tool. Thus, decisions based on a particular score should only be made alongside experienced professionals. Taking this test can give you an idea of how severe your feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress are and help you discover whether you could benefit from treatment.

The Depression Anxiety and Stress Test Scale (DASS-21) is another well-known test. The DASS-21 consists of three different scales that measure your depression, anxiety, and stress levels. Each of these has seven questions and there are sub-scales with other questions related to each section. There is also a longer DASS test that has 42 questions, but the most commonly used is the DASS-21. This is a test you can do on your own, but it is used by psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists as well.

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Causes of mental health conditions

Approximately 40 million adults in the United States experience stress, depression, or anxiety. While many people receive treatment, there is a large portion of the population who leaves their condition unaddressed and unmanaged. There are many different causes of each of these disorders, some of which can be helped or even prevented entirely. However, it’s important to recognize that many aspects of mental health are not in someone’s full control. 

Depression is a very real and common occurrence in society today. For some people, social media has made them increasingly prone to comparison and competition. Pressure to measure up in a more virtual world can be overwhelming. More and more people are struggling to cope with this mounting pressure in their lives. Being able to recognize the symptoms of depression is key to understanding this mental health condition. It could also be the first step in getting professional help.

Anxiety is something that affects many people at some point in their lives. All throughout our lives, we are faced with many stressful situations from school, work, family, partners, social obligations— the list goes on. Even kids are not spared from anxiety too. For example, students are facing test anxiety and are worried about their performance on a specific task. Mild anxiety is not always harmful and can actually be a good thing if it helps you become more focused and alert to threats and challenges. However, if your feelings of anxiety become persistent or start to interfere with your normal daily life, professional help may be beneficial. 

Stress is that feeling that you get when a person or situation demands more than you are able to give. It is the way that you feel when pressure is placed on you, and it can sometimes be an adverse response to what is perceived to be too much pressure. Stress can feel different to everyone, and it is sometimes hard to identify. Taking a test to measure stress can be beneficial to help you recognize the high levels of stress that you are experiencing. It can also help you understand whether your feelings of stress are helpful or harmful.

Taking tests to measure and identify levels of depression, anxiety and stress can be beneficial to help you understand and identify precisely what you are feeling. Specifically, these tests can help you determine whether you are experiencing depression, anxiety, and/or stress and to what degree. Sometimes, you might be living with more than one, known as comorbidity.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Stress, anxiety, and depression can have similar symptoms

What if a depression and anxiety test isn’t enough? Online therapy with BetterHelp

Stress, anxiety, and depression affect many people at some point in their lives. When these feelings take over your day-to-day activities, they can become problematic. Online therapy presents a possible solution. With internet-based counseling, you can speak to a certified therapist without having to leave the house. An online option means no waitlist and the ability to see a counselor anywhere that has internet – meaning there’s no added stress or anxiety related to figuring out where you’re going or how you’re going to get there. If you can’t get out of bed that morning, you can still connect with your therapist right then and there. In addition, various factors such as insurance or Medicare can affect a person’s ability to seek treatment. Online therapy may provide a more affordable and available option. 

During a therapy visit, you can receive help in various ways. A professional can help treat any mental health conditions you have, refer you to resources or other professionals, and help you review test results from any online assessments you take. 

Online therapy has been proven to be a powerful resource for those experiencing mental health challenges like depression and anxiety. In fact, one publication looked at whether cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was comparable on a computer versus face-to-face. The authors found that CBT was as effective online as it was in person and that an online option is likely more appealing for people located in rural communities. Participants in the study experienced both improved depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as increased “knowledge about and attitudes to depression.” CBT is a type of talk therapy that teaches people to replace their negative thoughts with more helpful ones. It can be used to treat many mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, and help individuals learn how to handle stressful situations more effectively. 

Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues. 

Therapist reviews

“I think she is the best therapist anyone with depression, PTSD, anxiety, social anxiety could ever work with and I’m so grateful for the time I got with her. She has taught me so many skills to help with all of my problems and made me feel a lot better.”

“Sirena Blaesser is a genuinely kind and generous human being. To have her as my counselor has been wonderful so far. She listens carefully, helps you search in yourself with gentleness, and encourages you to acknowledge yourself. The most important thing is that she sees you as a person integrally. She is very patien[t] and well prepared to lead you and motivate you. Her expertise and experience are remarkable. If you want a kind voice to help you overcome hardships, I will recommend Sirena.”

Takeaway

Using stress, anxiety, and depression tests can give you valuable insight into your mental health. They can be a starting point for discovering any problems you might be experiencing and serve as a preliminary screening. Ultimately, though, any diagnoses you receive must come from a qualified medical provider. Once you receive a diagnosis, you can begin to receive treatment. An online therapist can work with you as you go through this process, providing support and advice along the way.
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