Online quizzes: we’ve all seen them around the internet for all sorts of purposes, some more legitimate anothers. What was once a trend in magazines has become prevalent on many blogs, websites, and social media platforms worldwide.
As you may know, online quizzes can be a fun way to gauge your knowledge, occupy your time, and even learn something about yourself.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are completely accurate or should be taken seriously all the time. Especially when it comes to mental health, it is important to speak to a trusted therapist for a diagnosis; self-diagnosing is more harmful than beneficial.
Resources like those at MyTherapist (a provider of online therapy) can not only help you better understand your symptoms, but can also directly connect you with a professional who can work with you.
Relying on online mental health quizzes for more insight isn’t inherently problematic, but using them as legitimate tools is not really what their creators tend to design them for.
Reliability of Online Mental Health Quizzes
Online mental health quizzes can seem like a great idea. You can input your symptoms and get information similar to a diagnosis or even advice on how to treat these symptoms.
This guidance can certainly be helpful to some individuals. However, it is extremely important to first make sure the quiz you are taking is from a reliable source and always remember that an online quiz, no matter how comprehensive, does not replace a diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional.
It is important in general to withhold trust from anything you see online before you know that the source is well researched and reliable, and mental health quizzes are certainly not exempt from this rule.
It is possible that a mental health quiz you find online was indeed created by licensed therapists, in which case it may be fairly trustworthy or accurate; however, it still provides only a basic judgement on what is an extremely unique personal experience, and still does not count as a diagnosis.
Pros and Cons of Online Quizzes
Even though it is important to make sure the quiz you take is from a reliable source before trusting any of the information and remember it doesn’t serve as a diagnosis, it would be an exaggeration to say that there are no benefits to be found from taking an online quiz.
Here are some clear pros and cons to mental health quizzes to consider:
- Reliable quizzes can teach you some more basic information about yourself. They can be a great way to pass the time while getting to know a little bit more about your responses to different emotions or behaviors.
- They can be a fun and silly way to confirm some things you already know or some actions you already do. It might be fun to take a quiz in your free time, especially if you are already aware of your mental health symptoms.
- They can guide you towards seeking help from a trusted source, like a therapist, doctor, or counselor. Many online quizzes will result in a judgment that you might benefit from seeing a professional or receiving a professional diagnosis. While this is still up to you to decide at the end of the day, quizzes can lead an individual to seek legitimate help and care.
- They can make you feel less alone, awkward, or judged for experiencing difficulties with your mental health. A mental health quiz shows you that you are not alone in experiencing the symptoms that you do, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
- They can connect a name to the experiences you have been having so that you can conduct further research. No matter if your final quiz result is perfectly accurate to you or not, it can be a great way to gain more information on the experiences you have and how they may relate to mental health.
- They are made to only give very basic judgements. A mental health quiz can only give you a small amount of information based on a limited number of questions.
- They cannot give an accurate diagnosis. Only mental health professionals/ more extensive professional testing can give an accurate diagnosis of a mental health issue. While a professional diagnosis isn’t necessary to receive treatment for mental health, as mentioned, a quiz result should not be regarded as a diagnosis.
- They imply that you fit into a box. An online quiz will not be able to understand the nuances of your unique experience. Everyone experiences symptoms differently and thus requires different care.
- They are not necessarily written by mental health professionals.Just because a mental health quiz is available online does not mean it was written or created by therapists or counselors. The questions and answers it gives may or may not be reliable or accurate.
- They occasionally make light of mental health symptoms that are difficult and painful to deal with. If you have symptoms of a mental health issue, you know that it is a serious experience. Not all, but some online quizzes may make light of difficult symptoms.
As with any information online, it is important to verify the accuracy and reliability of the online mental health quiz you are taking.
While some of these quizzes certainly have some benefits, and may be a valid way to get more information about your symptoms, there are also quizzes that do the opposite.
Though some quizzes can have benefits, no online mental health quiz that is not given to you by your therapist should be trusted as a professional diagnosis.