But what is this test, exactly? How does it work? And does it even work?
Let’s first go over a fact that might be obvious but probably bears repeating. There’s no blood test to determine whether or not you have social anxiety. So if you were feeling anxious that you would be stuck with a needle, don’t worry about it.
When it comes to getting a diagnosis for social anxiety—should you seek professional medical help to treat your disorder—it’s much more of an information sharing meeting between yourself and your physician.
Your doctor may ask you several questions. He or she may simply ask that you to describe your symptoms or your feelings or your thoughts.
In doing so, try to go into as much detail as you can.
If you get sweaty palms, where do you get them? Upon meeting someone new? In talking to any person, familiar or unfamiliar? Do your hands get clammy just at the thought of socializing?
Try to be as thorough and honest as you can.
Another way to be tested for social anxiety is to take the Liebowitz social anxiety test. This examination is named after Michael R. Liebowitz. Liebowitz is a medical doctor who has been at the forefront for social anxiety disorder research and treatment.
He is also responsible for having developed the Liebowitz social anxiety test, which is well known and used to help determine if someone is suffering from social phobia.
How Does the Test Work?
The test is a simple questionnaire. Those who take this test will be asked a question or given a scenario, and then need to essentially rate their feelings based on two scales.
The first scale is fear and anxiety, where you will be given the opportunity to rank your fear and anxiety on a scale of 0 to 3, with 3 being the highest amount of fear or anxiety you could possibly have for that particular scenario.
The second scale is avoidance. Here, you’ll rank how often you tend to avoid a given situation. Like the first scale, the avoidance questions allow you to rank the situation on a scale from 0 to 3, with 3 being the most severe avoidance possible.
Through 24 questions and scenarios, which range from “using a public telephone” to “being the center of attention,” you’ll essentially grade your ease and willingness to be social in a variety of different circumstances.
By the end, the test will issue you an immediate grade. The grades given are usually numeric, and usually help to give an idea of how bad your social anxiety really is.
The higher the number, the more severe your social phobia is.
Do I Have to Take the Test?
It depends. What’s your goal for overcoming social anxiety? Do you hope to slowly break free of social phobia on your own, or do you want professional help?
Are you interested in getting past your anxiety through way of books, articles, podcasts, or coaching lessons, or are you more interested in therapy sessions and medication?
If the latter is for you, it might be to your benefit to seek out the advice of your doctor or other medical professional.
With that said, you know yourself better than your doctor. You know yourself better than a test, too.
If you think you have social anxiety, there’s a reason for it. Whether you’re always avoiding social situations, or you feel that it’s tremendously hard to make and retain friends, you likely know whether you have been battling social anxiety disorder all these years.
It’s possible that you never knew there was an official name for your problem. Or maybe you know you have it, but aren’t quite sure how severe or limiting it is.
But you know your body. And you know your mind.
And therefore, chances are you probably know if you have social anxiety.
I ultimately can’t tell you whether it’s necessary for you to take a social anxiety exam to learn whether or not you really do have social anxiety. That’s something you have to decide on your own.
But you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. And you likely already know the answer to the question regarding whether or not you have a fear of socializing.
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