Tests for diagnosing a mental illness is a part of the whole gamut of psychological testing. Check out the article below to find out more about these tests.
Mental illness is a disorder that affects your mood, thinking, and behavior. It can make you depressed and affect your daily life, relationships, work, etc. However, it can be treated with psychotherapy and medications. Depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and addiction are some of the examples of emotional disorders.
Tests for Mental Disorders
Just as there is a different test for every physiological problem, there are different tests for different mental illnesses. These mostly fall in the category of neuropsychological and personality tests.
There are two parts of this test. These are either objective or projective. Objective tests are self-report measures having a rigid response format, whereas projective tests are free response measures that allow the subject to give a freer response. In an objective form, there is a format where the subject is either asked to answer in either true or false, or there is an ordinal-scale rating. Such tests are mostly designed for use in business scenarios. Beck Depression Inventory, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), and a few others are examples of objective tests. An example of projective test is Rorschach test, where a person has the chance to express what he or she has interpreted well. Some other examples are House-Tree-Person Test and Robert’s Apperception Test.
Sometimes, a neurological structure or functioning or pathway seems to have been linked with a mental disorder. So, this has to revolve around brain scanning and neurological testing. These are done especially for confirming a problem post an injury or an illness, which might have had an impact on the brain. There are umpteen number of such tests, and it can be said that these can give the specialist a rough idea of an individual’s peak level of cognitive performance.
Another type of direct observation test is where individuals are simply observed while they conduct activities.
Testing for Depression
A test for depression can have these following aspects, revolving around the core tests mentioned earlier:
- A physical exam to determine how your body’s chemistry and physical state is
- Blood tests to check for anemia or thyroid problems, which may in a few cases, lead to symptoms of depression
- A series of questions to understand general mood and state of mind of the individual in question
- Questions related to symptoms can be asked
- Questions regarding drug and alcohol use and other disorders like, bipolar disorder may be asked
Such screening tests are available on the internet too.
Testing for Personality Disorder
For a personality disorder, which includes an array of disorders, objective tests are used extensively. For an objective test to diagnose a personality disorder, some of the questions can be:
- Do you believe you have more difficulty with relationships than the average person your age?
- Do you have difficulty trusting people?
- Do you tend to avoid social relationships?
- Do you like to be alone rather than in the company of others?
- Do you find yourself unaffected by praise or criticism?
- Do you observe people who get taken advantage of as being weak and deserving of being used?
- Do you crave for acceptance among your peers?
These are very generic questions for a personality disorder, and the answers to these have to be given in either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The answers to these questions help the counselor and psychiatrist chart a course of action, that is, treatment for the detected illness.
Schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and a few others are amongst the most commonly tested mental disorders. You can even find a free test if you search for mental illness online test. However, that cannot be, in any case, a substitute for actually going and meeting a specialist and sorting things out.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.