- Psychological Issues
Fortunately, we live in an age where information is readily available. And even if the information isn’t entirely available, there are tools to help you gather the information you need. For instance, if you’re worried or have concerns about your teen’s mental health, there are a variety of online tests and quizzes which can at least provide you with basic information about a particular illness. Psychological tests and screenings are good beginning tools to guide someone in the right direction, if they’re unsure about what to do.
However, online psychological tests come with some caution. This article will explore the pros and cons of using online psychological tests and screenings, as well as provide a list of resources for parents who may be concerned about their teen.
There are many reasons why parents of teens might want to use an online tool before going to a mental health professional. Here are a few reasons why parents might feel more comfortable first filling out an online test:
Not only are there tests in which parents can take about their teens, but there are also tools that teens can use themselves. Below is a list of self-evaluation assessments to use for various mental illnesses that may affect teens, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders:
When using online tools or self assessments, you may want to keep the following in mind:
Tests do not replace professional help. As already mentioned above, online tests and assessment tools are not to be used to make your own decision about whether a teen has an illness. These assessment tools are just that – tools. Rather, they could be used to determine whether to seek out more support, talk to a professional, and/or speak to your teen’s doctor about the symptoms you’re seeing. For more about this caution, see the warning at the bottom of this page on PsychCentral.
A mental health professional will conduct their own an assessment. A therapist, counselor, or psychologist can assess the severity of symptoms and whether any treatment methods are needed. In fact, in most cases, mental health providers will do their own assessment once you bring your teen in for an appointment. This process may take one full session or even last two sessions.
A mental health professional will likely conduct a more thorough assessment. Often a mental health provider will assess a teen in a holistic way, which a self-evaluation tool can’t always do. In other words, the assessment done by a therapist, counselor, or psychologist will often be inclusive of a teen’s lifestyle, physical health, social relationships, and emotional well being. Furthermore, a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist will likely want to talk to your teen alone, gathering information from the way that your teen talks about his or her symptoms. At the end of a professional assessment, the mental health professional will likely provide you with a diagnosis and an idea for the course of treatment.
Online tests and self-evaluation tools can be the first step in gathering more information about the necessity for professional support. Then, a formal assessment by a mental health professional can provide you with clear information about whether your teen has an illness and what kind of treatment might be required.
With all the cautions in mind and now that you have a greater understanding of how to use online tests, here is a list of resources to use for a variety of teen mental health symptoms:
Each of these three sites provides a list of tests for a variety of illnesses including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, ADHD, and more.