You know you are feeling depressed and anxious.
Your anxiety is just too much and won’t let you fall asleep.
Your thinking is intrusive and irrational.
You just had a baby or are currently pregnant and should be happy.
People say you don’t seem like yourself or are acting oddly.
You don’t understand because everything is fine, and you have no reason to be unhappy.
You wonder if you are going crazy or having a nervous breakdown.
Not understanding what is happening or looking for answers, people go to the internet where they find a wealth of information not knowing what is true and if it applies.
Your investigating is the first step on a path that can lead to assessment, treatment, and ultimately wellness.
The assessment starts with a comprehensive history and physical. Psychiatric history, medical history, family history, and a social/developmental history all help to understand your medical condition. The psychiatric physical is the mental status exam (MSE), which is happening during your visit. Elements of the exam include appearance, speech, mood, thoughts, and judgement. The MSE adds information in determining a possible diagnosis. Lab work, imaging studies, psychological testing, and/or medical consultation may also be needed in the evaluation process.
While surfing the internet, you may find questionnaires and scales, which can identify your symptoms and the severity of them. The information related to these symptoms may or may not lead to a specific a diagnosis, but it can be a starting point in the assessment process. The goal is using all means to determine diagnosis and treatment.
Here you will find some scales that may be of use in the assessment process
ADHD Self Test
Anxiety Self Tests
Sleep Self Tests
Mood Self Tests
Bipolar Self-Test Mood Disorder Questionnaire
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), NIMH
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale 1 (EPDS)
Geriatric Depression Scale short
Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
Zung Depression Scale
The Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology