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Experts warn against using Depression Anxiety Stress Scale for self diagnosis

Experts warn against using Depression Anxiety Stress Scale for self diagnosis

We cannot avoid but notice several posts on our feeds of a test about depression, anxiety, and stress. Yes, we’re talking about the viral psychological assessment tool that many netizens were taking. After all, you just have to answer a set of multiple-choice questions then you can see the results and analysis afterward. Where’s the harm in that?

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Seek professional help if needed

However, according to psychology experts, self-diagnosing anxiety and depression can be harmful to our mental health. The reason behind it is its subjective nature that may prevent the right kind of treatment.

Screen capture from Manila Bulletin

University of Santo Tomas Psychology professor and MentalHealthPH Learning and Development Head JB Bacaoco shared other reasons why this kind of test can be destructive. He said, “It is difficult to make a diagnosis based on a single test alone, so a holistic approach must be considered in trying to make a diagnosis and in making sense of someone’s mental health.”

Moreover, Bacaoco explained that psychological tests are helpful if a psychologist or a psychometrician used them. Psychologists should also be the ones to interpret their results to patients. He added that self-diagnosis may hinder individuals from getting the appropriate psychological intervention and necessary treatment.

Photo from The Healthy

Self-care is necessary for mental health

Bacaoco also suggests that taking care of oneself helps manage stress and anxiety during this difficult time. He explained that self-care is one way to take care of our mental health and can help us manage stress and anxiety rooting from the pandemic. “Self-care is a form of healthy activity that can help boost our mood, help us regulate our emotions, and identify our physical and psychological needs. You just have to discover which self-care activity works for you”, he added.

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Another way to take care of mental health is in simple ways. It could be maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern, working out, or taking breaks. In addition to that, it’s important to seek help from professionals. When one is experiencing distress or dysfunction, consult a mental health professional. This is to help you make sense of your experience. They can also guide you in looking for appropriate mental health interventions.

MentalHealthPH also wants to inform social media users against accepting the results of such online tests. They are urging those who are experiencing mental health problems like depression to find professional help. According to this group, there are centers offering free online psychological services and online Tele counseling, such as the National Center for Mental Health and the Philippine Red Cross.

Do you guys agree? Share with us what you think about this assessment tool.

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