Mental health is complicated. Although lots of experts have founded specific diagnoses to easily understand mental disorder, the fact is mental disorders seem overlapping from one another, making it difficult to distinguish, some of which are depression and anxiety. Understand them better along with their diagnose tests to make any necessary prevention.
What is Anxiety? What is Depression?
Anxiety and depression are often mistaken to be the same. Their symptoms seem to be alike and difficult to differentiate. People are then trapped in a common issue of confusing one to another. They do share many things in common while they also have different characteristics. Before calling someone depressed or anxious, make sure you know how each of them is defined.
When someone has depression, everything around them can be very dull and muted. They also feel low about themselves. They feel like everything around them keeps slowing down, including their reaction and thoughts about things.
Meanwhile, when someone has anxiety, everything around them turns to be heightened. They tend to feel on edge and very jittery. Unlike depression, the way anxious people react about everything around them can be very extreme. Moreover, their thoughts speed up.
What is Anxiety and Depression Test?
Telling someone whether or not they have depression or anxiety is not simple and easy. One person can easily develop both disorders, while some others may have developed some symptoms of anxiety as the result of being depressed, or vice versa. Being careful in giving diagnose to those kind of people is important as different diagnoses lead to different treatment.
What action is recommended before diagnosing? The answer is taking the depression and anxiety test. Anxiety and depression test is a questionnaire that is designed to measure someone’s emotional states of emotions of anxiety and depression. The questionnaire contains of two scale rating systems to find out and measure all the symptoms related to the anxiety and depression disorders.
Although the test covers two scales, one for anxiety and the other one for depression, it will be a single test only. The test itself cannot be made by just anybody. Medical professionals with sufficient knowledge and skills are needed to cover all the scientific requirements of professional clinicians and researchers. The test can be used for testing both adults and adolescents.
The anxiety and depression test is based the responses from the participants to a set of questions. The questions are composed to meet both scales. The report of the test is not only designed to find out someone’s emotional states, but also to help the participants understand, define, and measure their emotional states that can further ease them in any necessary monitoring.
What does the test cover then? What is each of the scales about? Each of the scales has a set of emotional state points that need checking from someone. Look at how different the anxiety scale from the depression one below:
In the test, anxiety scale examines skeletal muscles effects, anxious effect in subjective experience autonomic arousal, and situational anxiety. Meanwhile, depression scale examines devaluation of life, lack of involvement/interest, dysphoria, self-deprecation, hopelessness, inertia, and anhedonia. All the important points in each scale are then translated into a set of questions that a participant needs to response. All the responses are then used to draw a conclusion and make a verdict about the participant’s emotional state.
Anxiety and Depression Checklist
The points in the anxiety and depression scales may sound unfamiliar for you as they are so technical. To give you clearer picture of how the test is composed and done, look at the set of questions in the following anxiety and depression checklist. The checklist contains of 10 questions that offer 5 different answers for the participants to choose: never, little, some, most, and always. The way the participants should reflect to find the best response to the questions is by recalling what they have been feeling for that past four weeks.
The questions are:
- How often did you feel worthless?
- How often did you feel so sad that nothing could cheer you up?
- How often did your feel that everything was an effort?
- How often did you feel depressed?
- How often did you feel so restless you could not sit still?
- How often did you feel hopeless?
- How often did you feel so nervous that nothing could calm you down?
- How often did you feel nervous?
- How often did you feel tired out for no good reason?
- How often did you feel restless or fidgety?
What comes after the test then? All the participants’ responses are then recorded and analyzed by the professionals to get a certain conclusion. The responses are used to provide the participants a score. Based on the score, the analyzer can tell you at which group you fall into: high, medium, or low range.
Also, based on the score of the test, the participants can get a recommendation about the next step. It is usually about what they need to do and whom they should contact to find a support. The result of the checklist, however, is not a diagnosis, as the one having the authority for making any diagnosis is a heath professional. Yet, the result of this quick test can give you better and clearer sense about what you are feeling right now.
How Does The Test Work?
A bit different from the checklist, an anxiety and depression test is made of more questions. The test can consist of up to 28 questions (covering both disorders) that are designed to be related to the two emotional states. Participants of the test are required to go through each question of the test to give the best response indicating the extent of particular symptoms that they have experienced in the past few days or weeks.
Unlike the checklist above, the test occupy 4-point frequency or severity scale to indicate the presence of negative emotional states in a participant. The rating scale used in responding each question is:
- Applied to me most of the time, or very much
- Applied to me to a good part of time, or to a considerable degree
- Applied to me some of the time, or to some degree
- Did not apply to me at all
After the test, all the participants’ responses will be calculated. The calculation of each item is then used to measure the participants’ negative emotional states. The assessment of the participants’ anxiety and depression is based on the severity levels as follow:
- Extremely severe
Upon the completion of the test, the participants are given their score summary, indication of their emotional states level based on the comparison to the level average, further explanation about their emotional state level, and some recommendation.
What is the Test For?
The anxiety and depression test is designed to provide someone with an initial assessment. The result of test becomes the basis to decide the states of negative emotions diagnosis. The test, however, is not made to produce a comprehensive diagnostic tool. The real fact about the test is that it cannot cover all symptoms of anxiety and depression. Therefore, a further clinical examination is required. Go visit any medical professional to help you take the examination.
The administration and the scoring of test can be carried out by individuals, but the verdict based on certain score profiles for further management and treatment of the negative emotional states should be the task of a professionals. Furthermore, if a participant gets high scores from the test, he is required to see for further assistance of information from a medical professional as soon as possible.
Equally important, every participant should be noted that the questions in the anxiety and depression test don’t cover the tendencies of suicide and therefore suicidality is not included in the test. If you find out someone taking the test may be at the tendency or risk or thoughts about harming themselves or others, get an immediate help from the professionals.
What Can Lead You to The Need of Taking the Test?
To whom should the need of taking anxiety and depression be attributable? In other words, what can make someone in an urgent need of taking the test? The answer is obviously when someone starts to develop the symptoms of anxiety and or depression.
As explained above, these two mental disorders are similar and prone to be called the same. However, they are different as they have their own symptoms. The symptoms of each disorder can be classified into two groups: mental symptoms and physical symptoms. To begin with, let’s see the symptoms of those disorders from someone’s mental state:
Someone who has anxiety tends to develop too much apprehension over something that is happening both in the nearer time or in the future. Besides, they will be full of worried belief and thoughts about everything that can go wrong. Also, anxious people always feel that they need to avoid things and even to run away from the things they consider can provoke bigger and worse anxiety. Their anxiety can also lead to the difficulty of maintaining concentration and of controlling their mind that is always racing.
Meanwhile, depressed people tend to develop lonely feelings and sad feelings about the future and to think about hopelessness and worthlessness. The hopeless feelings that lead the depressed people to listlessness, the belief that there is no positive things can happen. Even worse, the depressed people also develop a certainty of negative emotion states in the future. The worse part of this is that the people can end up with suicidal thoughts.
People with anxiety tend to think that bad things are always about to happen and thus trigger them to always worry about it. Meanwhile, people with depression tend to assume their future is all bad and is having nothing that is worth fighting for or preventing.
Those two mental disorders may look like two different things. However, as they develop in someone’s mental health, they can be difficult to distinguish. Depression can happen after someone suffers from anxiety. That is possible to happen as someone dealing with terrible anxiety will soon end up being hopeless and feeling drained once the attack of their anxiety is over.
Apart from the mental symptoms, there are also physical symptoms. The symptoms, although different, are similar. Both depression and anxiety, for example, can make someone fatigued and drained. But in anxiety cases, it can occur when someone has terrible anxiety, whereas in the case of depression, it doesn’t need any trigger to occur or the fatigue and draining feelings can happen more constantly. The physical symptoms are as follow:
People with anxiety has the response symptoms of flight or fight such as sweating, having the need to move or run, and shaking. They also have heart rate that tends to be faster, bowel issues, other kinds of “energy” that cause symptoms, and other physical symptoms that are similar to health disorders, especially when the sufferers have health worries.
Meanwhile, depressed people suffer from the severe lack of drive and energy. The can suffer from the loss of interest in the things that give them pleasure and of interest in sex. The severity also comes in sleep problems, headaches, and appetite changes. Also, the depressed people suffer from terrible lack of emotion that comes with slowed behavior and thinking.
Although both mental disorders have physical symptoms, the number of physical symptoms tends to be less in depression, although depression mental symptoms are very dangerous (which is up to the development of suicidal thoughts). Also, people with depression suffer from daily hard struggles that clearly rival the anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety and depression are similar yet still different. Before telling someone is depressed or anxious, make sure you know the definition and symptoms. If you’re not sure about the symptoms that may seem to be overlapping, visit a medical professional to seek a help for anxiety and depression tests, for the diagnosis, and for further recommendation.