Anxiety disorders comprise the most common mental health concern in the United States, affecting about 40 million Americans, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Not surprisingly, the number of people suffering from anxiety has risen significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as people struggle with how to cope in the face of far-reaching changes.
Fortunately, anxiety can be successfully treated, and psychological testing often plays a big role. Our team at Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, specializes in treating anxiety. We tailor our plans to each patient’s symptoms, lifestyles, and other factors, using psychological testing to ensure each treatment plan is optimized and stays on track.
Here’s how to tell if you might be suffering from anxiety and how psychological testing can help ensure you get the treatment you need to manage your symptoms and take back control of your life.
The basics of anxiety disorders
Everyone feels anxious or nervous from time to time, typically when confronted with a stressful situation, such as a job change, a relationship breakup, or even a public speaking engagement. This type of anxiety has a specific cause, and the anxiety is more or less in proportion to that cause.
Anxiety disorders are different. People with anxiety disorders have symptoms that are both more frequent and more severe.
While some anxiety disorders — such as social anxiety disorder or separation anxiety disorder — may have identifiable triggers, the emotional responses to those triggers often far surpass the average reaction. While other anxiety disorders — such as general anxiety disorder — can involve continual feelings of heightened anxiety, even without an identifiable trigger.
People with anxiety disorders have symptoms that can include:
- Irritation and moodiness
- Problems focusing or concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Intrusive thoughts
- Digestive problems
Without proper treatment, anxiety disorders can take a big toll on your physical health and your emotional well-being, interfering with your work, your relationships, your social life, and your ability to relax and decompress.
The role of psychological testing
X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are routinely used to evaluate internal injuries and many types of chronic disease. Psychological testing is similar in that it uses special techniques to diagnose mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
The aim of psychological testing is to evaluate how a patient interacts with their environment in terms of how they think, feel, and behave. A variety of tests and testing methods are available, depending on the individual’s unique needs.
Many tests include one or more questionnaires, but other assessments are also available, depending on the needs of the individual. These tests are completely noninvasive and painless.
Psychological testing allows your provider to diagnose mental health issues and to monitor treatment. Typically, testing is prescribed after an initial clinical evaluation and used as a tool to aid in treatment. Diagnosis of anxiety or any other mental health issue isn’t made by psychological testing alone. Rather, testing serves as a tool to help tailor treatment.
In anxiety specifically, psychological testing can help determine:
- The type of anxiety disorder you’re dealing with
- Your specific triggers
- Your reactions to those triggers
- The severity of your anxiety
- Possible treatment options
During treatment, testing may be prescribed to track the effectiveness of your therapies. It can also be used to determine if other mental health issues are present, such as depression, which often occurs alongside anxiety.
Learn more about psychological testing
Anxiety is a serious medical problem that can quickly take over your life. With psychological testing, our team can make sure you get the best and most appropriate treatment to help you successfully manage your anxiety symptoms and enjoy a calmer, better quality of life.
To learn more about testing and anxiety treatments, call 310-982-7003 to schedule a confidential appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.