Do you wonder if you suffer from anxiety or want to know how severe your symptoms are? The Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scale is a simple test that people can administer to themselves to pinpoint and determine the severity of their symptoms of anxiety. Of course, the results of this test are intended to be used and interpreted by mental health professionals who can make specific recommendations if treatment is needed to improve the condition. But for individuals it can help them determine if they have the symptoms of anxiety and can decide to seek treatment.
Developed by Dr. William WK Zung of Duke University, the Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scale is comprised of 20 questions that receive a numerical score from 1 to 4. Most of the questions are scaled with numbers increasing as symptoms worsen. 5 have the scale reversed so that numbers decrease as symptoms are better more often. The questions are all straightforward inquiries into how often a person experiences certain feelings or physical sensations with the scale running thus: almost never, sometimes, frequently, all the time. Answering each question honestly will help mental health providers determine the severity of any anxiety disorder or rule one out if the scores are low enough. Scores below a certain range indicate false answers.
While the Zung anxiety scale is recognized by physicians, psychologists, and other medical professionals around the world, it important to stress that self interpretation of the results of the assessment is not a viable option. The assessment itself can be administered in the privacy of one’s own home if so desired, but only a professional healthcare provider can accurately interpret the results. Any feelings of anxiety or depression should be discussed with and diagnosed by professionals to ensure that the proper care is received for any anxiety disorders. Bear in mind that everyone feels anxiety in certain situations. This is perfectly normal.
The Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scale is not intended to be used for assessing or diagnosing children or teens. Changes that are taking place normally in their young bodies can cause them to report higher incidence of certain types of anxiety that are perfectly normal functions of adolescence rather than signs of an anxiety disorder. If a teen feels that he/she is experiencing anxiety or depression that are outside the realm of normal adolescent difficulties, a mental health professional should be contacted to evaluate and diagnose whether a problem actually exists.
In adults, however, the Zung Self Rating Anxiety Scale is a very useful tool recognized around the world as an asset in determining the severity of anxiety disorders. Giving honest answers on the assessment test is critical to making an accurate determination. Only mental health professionals are qualified to interpret the results in relation to other tests and assessments to determine what if any treatment is needed for an anxiety disorder.