Worried About Your Mental Health

If you, or someone you know, is in danger, call emergency services immediately

See a Doctor!

If you are at all worried about your Mental Health are advice is always to see a Doctor. While the internet is full of information, it is notoriously unreliable and can never substitute the advice of a trained professional. Thanks to Dr Google, "Cyberchondria" is a real problem, with people causing themselves unnecessary stress. Even if you consult reliable websites, it is easy to dramatise everyday issues into psychiatric symptoms, or alternatively downplay a serious illness. These resources are here solely as supplementary information and should not in any way be considered as a definitive answer to your problems. All external links are in italics and will open in a new tab; Speak holds no liability for any problems once you leave our page.

Seeking Help

 

 

If you need help with your mental health, your first port of call should be your GP. They will assess you and refer you for psychiatric treatment if necessary. Be honest and open with them - they rely entirely on what you report to make their decision.

The NHS provides a wide range of psychiatric treatment, including medication, different types of therapists and a range of specialist treatments. Unfortunately the waiting lists are criminally long, it is one of the (many) issues with the current system we are campaigning to fix! This is another reason why we recommend seeking help ASAP; the more you delay, the longer you will wait.

If you can afford it, you may wish to seek private treatment; while it is expensive, the waiting time is considerably shorter. Be aware that many private practitioners also work with the NHS, so the quality of treatment may not be significantly different.

If you are having a mental health crisis call emergency services. If it is not severe enough to warrant this then we recommend calling Samaritans on 116 123. Their lines are open 24/7 to listen to your problems and provide non-judgemental advice.

There are many charities that specialise in different areas, many of which have helplines. This page on the NHS website contains a list of some of the services available.

Online Tests

 Online tests are, in general, incredibly inaccurate. I recently took one and was "diagnosed" with a personality disorder that I have no symptoms for. I then retook it, only selecting clinically insignificant responses, and was "diagnosed" with Schizophrenia...

 

If you feel you need to take a test, then you need to see a Doctor. We do not recommend relying on them as they rely on self-report questions, can be easily misinterpreted and they rarely account for less common disorders. Equally, the results of these can be distressing, especially for disorders rife with misconceptions. All of this can put you off seeing a professional when needed.

Nonetheless, we appreciate that some may still wish to take an online test for peace of mind, be it due unacceptably long waiting lists, fear of misdiagnosis or simply out of curiosity. The following advice is to help you avoid fake tests and unnecessary distress.

When taking an online test look for the following:

  • The wording - does it use emotionally charged, hyperbolic or otherwise exaggerated language? Reliable tests will only contain correct medical terminology and neutral language, and not stereotypical views

  • The advice - this is a clear giveaway; a reliable test will tell you your answers suggest that you may have a disorder and advise you to seek professional help. They will never attempt to diagnose you

  • How long is it? Mental disorders are an incredibly complex and nuanced field; if a two minute test tells you that you have a disorder then take it with a large pinch of salt

  • Common sense - mental disorders are a serious issue; does this test reflect that?

 

 

If you still wish to take a test then we have recommendations below for external websites with tests that conform to medical diagnosis criteria. Note we have checked every one of these tests and cannot guarantee their accuracy; they are recommended based on the hosting website and not individual merit. Speak is not liable for any inaccuracies or other issues caused by external links:

NHS - Mood Self Assessment

National Health Service test, will advise you on what to do next. Highly recommend

Psychology Today - Mental Health Assessment

An in-depth questionnaire covering a range of mental health issues, tells you what common disorders your symptoms could indicate

PsychCentral

Numerous tests for a range of psychological disorders including; Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Eating Disorders, PTSD, OCD and more