What do you do when you think you’re not normal? Maybe your emotions seem out of control or you can’t sleep. You’re eating more or less than you used to. You think, “what is going on? I can usually handle this stuff”. Maybe you think, “I can’t do this anymore” or “I’m not me anymore”. See my other post “I Am Enough!” for more on this.
So back to my original question, “what do you do when you feel like everything is falling apart and you can’t talk to anyone? Most people go to google and type in some form of “mental health test”. They want a quick 20 question “diagnose me” quiz that will help them find out if they meet any diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder. In a time when you feel alone, scared or overwhelmed, the anonymity of the internet can be alluring but it falls short.
It is my belief that there is no substitute for being heard. There is no short cut to having your feelings validated. There is no quick fix for human contact. This is where a mental health therapist comes in.
In therapy, we use a variety of assessment tools to gauge a person’s symptoms in the present moment. Depending on the training of the mental health professional, the assessments used in therapy can vary. These tools are used to assess progress in therapy. Most times they are delivered in the beginning of therapy, to get a baseline, several times during therapy, as well as at the end of therapy. I use these assessments in order to gauge my clients’ progress in treatment. If the results get better, things must be going well! If the results are stagnant, this can help me evaluate how effective my therapeutic strategies are in session.
Mental health assessment tools are not definitive in any way. Taking a test online or even in a therapy session does not mean that your diagnosis is set in stone, nor does it mean that your results on that assessment points to one specific diagnosis. So, before you self diagnose, take those “mental health tests” with a grain of salt and take the chance on therapy and a meaningful relationship with a therapist.
Thanks for reading.