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Here are Some Online Self-tests to Check How Well You are Coping:

Kessler 10:

The Kessler 10 is a 10-question self-test that identifies how strong some symptoms of anxiety and depression have been over the past 4 weeks.  It is used in Western Australian mental health services and by many GPs.  It can be completed and scored online at the Beyond Blue site here.

Depression Self-test:

Another test that assesses depression symptoms only can be completed and score by clicking here.  Black Dog Institute which developed this test

is one of Australia’s leading mental health research institutes and is internationally recognised as a pioneer in the identification, prevention and treatment of mental illness and promotion of wellbeing. 

Mood Swings Questionnaire:

Sometimes people who are troubled by depression suffer from mood swings (depressed times interspersed with high-energy/high-motivation/goal-directed mood swings).  People with a mood swing disorder may not be too concerned about their up-swings so may only seek help from a doctor when they feel low.  The Mood Swings Questionnaire is a self-test that identifies how many symptoms of bipolar affective disorder (previously called manic-depression) are being experienced.  It can be completed and scored online at the Black Dog Institute site here.

Post-trauma Checklist - PCL-5:

After traumtic experiences it is possible to develop a condition that is called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  An online self-assessment for PTSD is available here.

DASS-21 (Depresion, Anxiety, Stress):

This 21 item test identifies how bad symptoms have become of three things: depression, anxiety and stress.  To complete the DASS-21 click here.

Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale:

This checklist is for pregnant women or new mums and it will give you a clearer idea about how you are feeling and what options you have if you are not feelings too good. To complete the checklist click here.

Print out your results from these tests and bring them to your first session to show the counsellor.  If you are seeing a doctor in Australia to get a mental-health treatment plan first (to get a Medicare rebate for 6-10 counselling sessions) take your test results to the appointment with your doctor.

What is a 'Nervous Breakdown?'

Nervous breakdown is not actually a medical term, and it does not indicate a specific mental illness.  When people use this term they know they are not coping well with stress and it may indicate an underlying mental health problem that needs attention, such as depression or anxiety.

Signs of a 'nervous breakdown' vary from person to person and depend on the underlying cause but it's understood to mean that a person is no longer able to function normally. For example, he or she may:

• Call in sick to work for days or longer

• Avoid social engagements and miss appointments

• Have trouble following healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and hygiene

A number of other behaviors may be considered signs and symptoms as well.

If you're concerned that you're experiencing a nervous breakdown, get treatment. If you have a primary care doctor (GP), talk to him or her about your signs and symptoms or contact this service.

Stress Vulnerability Model of Mental Ill-Health:

The Stress Vulnerability Model of Mental Ill-Health proposes why some people become mentally unwell.    Several factors that are thought to predict mental ill-health according to this model are shown here.  The model and its use in psychiatry is explained further here.

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