What’s the Idea?
If you’re worried you have anxiety, take the NHS online anxiety test and check the severity of your symptoms. It’s confidential and free.
What’s the story
Because I have suffered from anxiety in the past (although my main ‘black dog’ is depression), I have been given the NHS anxiety test a couple of times by my GP.
The NHS anxiety test checks for both depression and anxiety symptoms, and tells you how severe they are.
It’s available for free online, for anyone to use.
I have found it an invaluable tool, and I have kept using it over the years to keep track of where I am.
That’s because anxiety symptoms can creep up on you without you even realising it’s happening.
Before you know where you are, you’re in the middle of a full-blown episode – and that’s not fun.
Please note that an online anxiety test is NOT a substitute for talking to a health professional.
You should get in touch with your GP surgery or dial 111 if you are concerned about anxiety or depression symptoms.
People should do this because…?
Keeping a close eye on your mental health has never been more important.
However it’s a bit of a double-edged sword with anxiety.
On the one hand, it’s good to keep an eye on your symptoms.
On the other hand, you should try to avoid obsessive worrying or Googling about anxiety and related disorders, as it could make your condition worse.
I recommend the NHS anxiety test because it is robust and clinically tested.
But if you are showing anxiety symptoms, I would recommend avoiding tests not backed by a medical organisation or charity.
This is so you can make sure you are doing a ‘proper’, confidential anxiety test, which has your best interests at heart.
How do you do it?
You can find the UK NHS anxiety test at the link below:
Please note that it tests for both depression and anxiety and is intended for adults.
If you are a young person and you’re worried you might have anxiety, please visit the Young Minds website.
The NHS anxiety test looks for ‘Generalised Anxiety Disorder’ (GAD), rather than any more specific anxiety disorders.
Examples of these are:
- Panic Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
However it is not uncommon to suffer from more than one type of anxiety disorder at the same time.
So don’t worry if you’re not asked about some of your specific symptoms in the anxiety test.
If you have any kind of anxiety disorder, it will probably get picked up.
However, if you would like to specifically read more about other types of anxiety disorder, here are some useful links:
NHS – Panic disorders: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/panic-disorder/
NHS – Phobias: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/phobias/
What to do if the test says you’re unlikely to be suffering from anxiety
Great! Hopefully that’s the case and you’re just going through a worrying patch.
It doesn’t mean you should ignore how you feel though – there’s lots of things you can do that will help you feel a bit better, and also help lift any lurking depression.
Take a look at our Wellbeing category for some ideas:
If you believe the test result is wrong, or you have a different kind of anxiety order, you should speak to someone.
Anxiety disorders are very common and are completely valid, medical conditions which need treatment.
So don’t feel bad about reaching out, or feel that you’re making an unnecessary fuss.
I recommend contacting your GP surgery or the NHS helpline on 111.
Or if things are escalating or feeling unmanageable, you can ring The Samaritans for free, any time of the day or night:
The Samaritans: 116 123
If you can’t speak privately or don’t want to phone, The Samaritans also has an email address:
What to do if the test says you’re probably suffering from anxiety
I’m not going to say ‘try not to worry’ (although you should).
I know how impossible that is when you’re in the throes of an anxiety disorder.
However there are some steps you can take which should help:
- Tell your close family and friends
- Cut down or stop drinking alcohol
- Eat healthily and try to get at least a few hours sleep a night
- Try out relaxation techniques, like meditation, yoga, or grounding
- Avoid activities which make you more anxious, like excessive Googling
- Let yourself off the hook e.g. with work commitments and housework
- Spend time doing gentle activities, like watching a feel-good boxset
Most importantly, you should get in touch with a professional, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope.
You can talk to your GP, a counsellor, or a mental health charity, like The Samaritans.
- NHS 111
- The Samaritans: 116 123
It’s really important that you don’t ignore the results of the anxiety test and that you find ways to manage the condition.
Take heart, you’re not alone.
Lots of people suffer from anxiety, and the vast majority have found ways to overcome it and get on with their daily lives (as I have).
If your anxiety test score is positive, then please take a look at our other pages:
Stuff you may need
- Laptop, tablet, or smartphone
- Wifi or a way to connect to the internet