How Accurate Is An Anxiety Test Online? Will It Help?

By Steven Finkelstein|Updated July 12, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Many individuals live with anxiety. While some anxiety is normal as a reaction to certain situations, disordered anxiety is different. But what if you’re in a position where you don’t feel ready yet to seek help or more information by talking with a therapist? Is an online anxiety test a viable substitute? What can it reveal about your mental state, and will it ultimately help with your anxiety?

What Is Anxiety?

First, you need to understand the difference between normal anxiety levels and ones that indicate a problem. Clinical anxiety is different from the occasional feeling of nervousness or worries you might get in specific situations. The sort of anxiety to which we refer is a persistent state of concern, fear, or worry.

When you feel anxious in this way, it can manifest itself through various physical symptoms. If faced with one of the situations that makes you uneasy, your heart might race. You may sweat an abnormal amount. Your skin might feel clammy to the touch, or you might have trouble catching your breath. It might be something you see on the news that upsets you, or it might be the notion of leaving the house that triggers these responses. It might be meeting new people or interacting socially in general.

The Online Anxiety Test

A Licensed Therapist Can Help With Anxiety And Panic Attacks
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What is appealing about the online anxiety test is that you can take it in private. You might take it on your phone, laptop, or desktop, but in any of those scenarios, you don’t have to leave your home. If you’re one of those individuals who grow anxious when you’re away from the order and serenity of your house or apartment, then this might seem like an ideal solution.

With most of these tests, the format is the same. You answer some multiple-choice questions and based on your answers. You get a score or an outcome at the end, which tells you whether you likely have anxiety or not. The questions might be along the lines of “are there occasions or instances which you encounter every day, which make you feel nervous or anxious,” or “do you often feel afraid or worried?” You might answer on a scale from “always” to “never,” or a simple yes-or-no answer might be all that is required. In most cases, these anxiety tests or quizzes are free.

Some Of The Better Anxiety Tests Online

Psychologytoday.com is one of the better-known sites that offers an anxiety test. At the end of it, you’ll get a snapshot report that comes with a graph and a summary evaluation. You can purchase a complete version of the report for $6.95, but you don’t need to do so. Take note, though, that any anxiety test completed online should have a disclaimer like the one on Psychology Today, which indicates that the test isn’t a substitute for a professional evaluation or diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional.

Psy.com Anxiety Test

The website psy.com also has an anxiety test that you can take. This one asks questions like, “does worry or anxiety make you feel fatigued or irritable?” The answers range from “never” to “very often.” The format is like the psychologytoday.com quiz, and the psy.com one takes only an average of three minutes to complete.

What Do These Quizzes Reveal About Your Mental State?

As for what these quizzes can tell you about your mental state, that’s not always the easiest question to answer. That is because, as the fine print so often stipulates, these tests are not being administered by a licensed mental health professional. Because of that, their accuracy is potentially open to doubt and interpretation.

For instance, you might take two of these quizzes, or five, or ten, and the answers you might get on all of them might be ambiguous. Maybe, according to these quizzes, you aren’t suffering from anxiety, but you may be. This might happen if you land somewhere in the middle of the “anxiety scale.” You’re not as calm, tranquil, and in control of yourself as you might be, but it’s also not obvious based on your answers that you need to seek help immediately.

On the other hand, it might be that you take several of these quizzes, and every one of them states unequivocally that you have anxiety issues and that you need to seek professional help. While there is still the inherent uncertainty factor, it seems evident in that scenario that you have to make a few changes in your life. While these tests aren’t the last word when it comes to an anxiety diagnosis, if they all say that you’re struggling, then you should probably heed them.

Licensed mental health professionals will utilize more than tests to determine the level of anxiety you’re experiencing, and there is no replacement for evaluation from a professional.

Will Taking Them Help?

Taking anxiety quizzes online might help you in the sense that they’re a good place to start if you’re worried about your level of anxiety. A test might give you a sense of direction and validation about what you’re experiencing, but it will not provide you with treatment.

Even if some of these tests deem it likely that you have anxiety, that does not mean that taking one will alleviate your feelings. In fact, it might turn out to have the opposite effect. If you get confirmation from an online test that you have anxiety, then you might feel worse than if you hadn’t taken the test at all.

The Best Uses for These Tests

The best uses for online anxiety tests are starting a process that leads to your seeking therapy or counseling. After all, if you felt the urge to take some of these tests to begin with, then it is likely that you already suspect you’re feeling an abnormal amount of stress or worry. Whether the tests seem to confirm this or not, it is in your best interest to get help from a mental health professional. You can talk to them about the quiz results if you want, but chances are they will not put a great deal of value into them. You shouldn’t either. A licensed mental health professional will utilize research-supported tests to assess your level of anxiety if necessary.

What If You Do Have Anxiety?

A Licensed Therapist Can Help With Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Once you are evaluated and diagnosed by a mental health professional, you can start to look at some options as to how you can get well again. Talking about what is happening is one of the best things that you can do. You can address what it is that’s troubling you and making you feel anxious. You might end up discussing both your childhood and your current life. If you are in a relationship, then you can use ReGain for online couples’ counseling. Including your spouse or significant other in what is happening might turn out to be what’s best for both of you. It may bring you closer together.

Your therapist may refer you to have a medical evaluation to discuss other treatment options that may support the work you do in therapy. You might also end up talking with your therapist about things like yoga, meditation, or the use of essential oils that will put you in a calmer mood. You may learn some mental techniques that you can use if you are faced with one of the situations used to make you nervous or afraid.

In all likelihood, it will take a combination of these things to help you manage anxiety. Persistence and patience are key. Your feelings are not something that you are likely to banish through one or two sessions. The more anxious you feel, the more work you will need to do on yourself. It’s worth it, though.

Online Anxiety Quizzes Might Start the Healing Process, But They Never End It

If you want to take some of the anxiety quizzes out there, there is probably no harm in it, but these tests aren’t a replacement for evaluation and treatment by a professional. Talking with a professional might seem intimidating, but the sooner you do it, the sooner you will be moving in the direction of feeling good and better mental health.

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