Taking A Mental Health Test Any Time Soon?

There are some things people scheduled to take mental health tests should know about those tests before they take them. People often get the very mistaken idea that these tests are about helping needy people. I want to clear up any such misconception right away. These tests are about screening people for mental illnesses. If you don’t want to be diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness, it is a good idea not to take such a test in the first place.

Having said that, it’s a good idea to read up on mental illness before you take one of these tests. It’s a better idea to develop some kind of a cheat sheet from your readings on the subject before you take one of these tests. An even better idea is, as indicated earlier, not to take the test at all. It’s a bad idea to take one of these tests because you think there is something wrong with yourself. The test results, you see, are likely to agree with that assessment. It’s a bad idea to take one of these tests because you think you are well, the test results might disagree with you.

A mental health test is not a truth test. You must understand this from the beginning. Many people find themselves very confused on this point. The test is not asking you to truthfully tell how you are feeling, even if it asks you to truthfully tell how you are feeling. If the test asks you whether you think people are out to get you, the correct answer, if you don’t want a mental illness, is no. If school bullies are beating you up, or if the mob is gunning for you, the answer is still no. The tester is looking for paranoia, and paranoia is seen as a symptom of a mental illness.

The same applies to voices, even if you hear people talking. If the test asks if you hear voices, answer no. The test is asking about audio hallucinations, and it’s a good idea for a test taker, if that test taker doesn’t want to score high for mental illness, not to have any audio hallucinations. Even if the test taker does have audio hallucinations, answering truthfully is to be discouraged, that is if the test taker doesn’t want to score a mental illness. If the test asks if you hear voices issuing commands, you don’t. The test may be trying to trick you, and you don’t want to be tricked.

Should the test ask you if you ever had panic attacks, or if you experience a great deal of anxiety, always remember, you are as cool as a cucumber, and you have the nerves of a brain surgeon. One slip up here or there could prove one slip up too many, and then the test comes up nutzoid, and you have a disaster on your hands. No, you are perfectly capable, and you don’t get nervous or overly anxious, even if you do. These tests make few allowances for youth and inexperience, and so you have to be careful; you are treading on eggshells. You have to be careful, but don’t let that throw you. As I was saying, it helps to read up on mental illness before you take one of these tests.

Sometimes these tests are looking for depression, due to the suicide rate, and so you don’t want to have a bad day. Say it’s a good day, even if it’s a bad day. The distinction between clinical and everyday depression gets finer all the time. As a rule I look to Hallmarks Cards for my answers, but you have to be careful when you do that, too. The test could also be testing for bipolar disorder, and euphoria then, or excessive happiness, could be indicative of mania. The suggestion here is to be level headed and not giddy. Don’t ever let your test know if you’ve had too much of a good thing.

Some folks have been talking about getting everybody in the nation screened for mental illness. There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea. Mental health screening has an incredibly high false positive rate. In other words, the test is more likely to find a person who isn’t mentally ill mentally ill than it is to find a person mentally ill who is mentally ill. Think about it. The confusion can only be beginning there. How do we tell that some of the mentally ill people we’ve encountered aren’t really mentally well, just unfound out?

The mental illness rate has been rising at a proportionately higher rate than the population since the turn of the 20th century. Mental health screening is not going to lessen that incline in the ‘sick’ population. Do we really want more nut cases in the world? There can only be one result from these mental health screenings, and that is a rise in the crazy population. Why don’t we do something instead to stem the spread of these maladies of the mind? Oh, I know. Because doctors and mental health professionals want to drum up business, and what better way do they have for doing so than by testing people for mental health issues.