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Stefani Germanotta is worth almost $300 million dollars. Better known as Lady Gaga, she has been fighting a lifelong struggle with depression. You wouldn’t know it if you saw her on stage. And she’s not alone, one of many celebrities who are waging public battles with mental health issues and winning.
The World Health Organization says depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. But there is a big problem with this figure: it could be a massive underestimation of reality.
Depression and mental health issues often go untreated due to social stigmas and ineffective diagnoses. In short, many of us may not realize that we have such mental health problems — or at the very least, a negative emotional state caused by lifestyle stress.
Self-Assessment Could Give the First Clue
Depression, anxiety, and stress are all different but part of the same brood. All three hit us in similar ways but they are different kinds of demons. Stress can be normal. Depression is more long-lasting and with greater health fallout. Anxiety can be all over the board.
The first step is to evaluate if you are in a negative state, and if so, how severe it is. The Depression Anxiety Stress Test is designed as a single test to gauge the difference between the three emotional states. The test site says:
[It was] developed by medical professionals and is designed to meet the scientific requirements of both researchers and professional clinicians. The test is suitable for both adolescents and adults.
It is strictly an initial self-assessment tool like any other online psychological test. Only a well-qualified specialist can establish your true mental health status. In other words, this test:
- Is not a diagnostic tool.
- Does not include every symptom associated with depression, anxiety, or stress.
- Does not detect suicidal tendencies.
How You Can Take the Test
Forty-two scientifically designed questions make up the test. You get your scores on three emotional scales:
- The Depression Scale determines dissatisfaction with life, hopelessness, devaluation of life, self-deprecation, lack of interest/involvement, and inertia.
- The Anxiety Scale rates autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety, and subjective experience of anxious affect.
- The Stress Scale is sensitive to levels of chronic non-specific arousal. It estimates the difficulty in relaxing, nervous arousal, and being easily upset/agitated, irritable/over-reactive and impatient.
At the end of the test, a summary of scores and a comparison with the average is shown. Next, educate yourself further on each of the negative emotional states based on the results.
Should You Take the Test?
Online self-tests don’t establish that you have depression, anxiety, or stress. Only mental health practitioners can do that.
However, online screening tools can motivate you to seek help from said professionals. It can snap you out of self-denial and convince you to take therapy seriously. After all, prevention is always better than dealing with the potential outcomes of an untreated mental imbalance.
Have these kinds of tests nudged you to take more help? What do your results look like? Are they expected or way off the mark?
Image Credit: Alliance via Shutterstock