PREAMBLE ::: 'My Mental Health' scales explained

The My Mental Health Test is a collection of measures for mental health problems commonly associated with addiction problems
The aim of any intervention, whether self directed or with professional help, is to reach the score for someone in the general population - these are the target scores shown in the charts.

The distinction between mental illness and symptoms of psychological distress is an important one because treatment and outcomes for each are very different. Both are commonly intertwined with addiction problems, with the addiction and mental health stresses feeding off each other. Diagnosis of mental illness is difficult in these situations and should only be made by a qualified addiction mental health practitioner. Questionnaires are helpful pointers to possible mental health problems but ideally are reserved for monitoring symptom severity.

⚠️ These scales are not diagnostic - always confirm possible diagnoses with your doctor⚠️ 


PHQ9 & GAD7 :: ANXIETY and DEPRESSION

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Anxiety and depression often come together although one or the other may well be the main problem. These conditions are difficult to diagnose when people also misuse psychoactive substances. This is because dependence is itself stressful and causes anxiety and depression; additionally withdrawal from many substances also causes anxiety and depression as do problems that accumulate as a consequence of addiction. Moreover, many substances are a quick fix for unpleasant mood states.

The PHQ9 is a scale having nine items asking about depression and the GAD7 is a scale having seven items asking about anxiety. The two scales are frequently used together. The scales are best used for monitoring symptoms rather than as diagnostic tools. For a more scientific evaluation of scales Compare Mental Health Scales 

 

LTE & PCL :: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

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As with most other mental health problems traumatic experiences can be both a cause and effect of addiction. People respond differently to traumatic events even those truly life threatening events. One way of coping with persistent and distressing consequences of trauma is to take a psychoactive drug, commonly alcohol. An addiction problem is likely to be a barrier to treatment.

The LTE is a means of recording traumatic events in a structured way. The LTE presents 12 types of trauma which are simply ticked if they have been experienced. The PCL is used when trauma has been identified in one way or another and is a seven question screening tool to suggest a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For a more scientific evaluation of a collection of scales Compare Mental Health Scales 

 

PQ-B :: PSYCHOSIS

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Psychosis, best thought of as a loss of touch with reality, has many causes of which one is substance use, notably of stimulant and hallucinogenic drugs. People who suffer from psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, may choose psychoactive drugs in preference to their medication to alleviate distressing symptoms. Importantly psychoactive drugs may adversely affect the course of a pre-existing mental illness.

The PQ-B is a scale with 21 questions designed both to suggest the presence of psychosis or at least pick up early signs. The scale also enquires about how distressing the symptoms are. The PQ-B can be used to monitor symptom severity. For a more scientific evaluation of a collection of scales Compare Mental Health Scales