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Depression and Anxiety Stress Test

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
5 min read
Medically reviewed by:

Key Takeaways

Using online tests and scales can help you to understand your symptoms and interpret what you are feeling. However, it is important that they are not used for self-diagnosis but either shown to a doctor or repeated under the supervision of a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis. To address any concerns that you may have, it is advisable to consult with a  mental health professional to receive proper advice and treatment depending on your specific situation.

Have you been looking for ways on how to improve mental health? It is crucial to understand, first, that mental health is just as important as physical health. There are tests to measure physical health (such as blood tests and BMI tests), and now there are tests to measure the severity of mental health symptoms – the depression and anxiety stress test, also called the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 21 Items (DASS-21).[1]

The results from the depression and anxiety stress test can be helpful in finding answers to ‘How to beat depression?’. However, it is important to consult with a doctor when interpreting test results to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

A doctor’s advice can help ensure that your mental health concern is well-understood and properly addressed. At Mosh, you may connect with AHPRA-registered doctors who can provide you with proper mental health advice through remote consultations. You are welcome to ask your doctor more about the depression and anxiety stress test and if it is an ideal test for you to take.

To better understand the value of the depression and anxiety stress test in evaluating mental well-being and guiding treatment options, it is important to understand the meaning of depression, anxiety, and stress.

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What are depression, anxiety, and stress?

Stress and anxiety are closely related emotional states that can have similar symptoms and may be difficult to differentiate. Stress is typically a short-term response to a specific risk, while anxiety can be a longer-lasting feeling of worry or fear that may not always have an apparent cause.[2] 

Meanwhile, depression is a mental health disorder characterised by prolonged feelings of sadness and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities. It is often a more severe and persistent emotional state that can interfere with daily functioning.[3]

Now that you know more about what depression, anxiety, and stress are, it may be easier for you to understand how the depression and anxiety stress test can lead to answers to ‘How to stop stress?’ or ‘How to calm down anxiety?’ .

What happens during a depression and anxiety stress test?

The depression and anxiety stress test uses a three-scale rating system to measure the severity of a person’s anxiety, stress, or depression symptoms. It consists of twenty-one questions related to each of the three scales – the depression, anxiety, and stress scales. The scores for each emotional state are calculated by summing the scores from the relevant questions. 

The test assesses an individual’s levels of depression, anxiety, and stress on a five-point scale, ranging from normal to extremely severe. The test can also be used on a regular basis to assess progression of symptoms in response to treatments. After completing the test, individuals receive a summary of their scores and an indication of how their levels compare to the average.[4]

When you ask a Mosh doctor questions like, ‘How do I know if I have anxiety?’ or ‘Why am I depressed?’ they will assess your unique situation to see if the DASS-21 can help lead you to the right solution. They may consider various factors such as your lifestyle, medical history, medications you take, and other areas to better grasp your situation and recommend a tailored solution. 

What are the common symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Dysphoria, hopelessness, self-deprecation, and lack of interest are all symptoms of depression. Meanwhile, stress and anxiety share many similar symptoms, including rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, feeling uneasy or fearful, sweating, and digestive issues such as diarrhoea or constipation.[5]

Together, DASS-21’s depression, anxiety, and stress scales can assess an individual’s emotional state and help identify potential areas of concern. However, not every symptom associated with these emotional states can be assessed by the test. In some cases, a doctor can conduct other assessments to provide a comprehensive evaluation and determine the appropriate course of treatment, if needed.

Because consultations with your Mosh doctor are done through phone calls or video chat, you can talk about your mental health concerns more freely and comfortably from your home or office. You can be as elaborate as you feel comfortable about the symptoms you’re experiencing so your doctor can better understand your situation.

Depending on what you need, your doctor may give you science-backed advice, prescribe medications, or recommend a customised Mosh mental health plan.

Are depression and anxiety tests online reliable?

It’s possible to take the depression and anxiety stress test online, however, it’s best to consult a professional if you’re experiencing serious symptoms.[6] To take the test, the person simply needs to read each statement and select a number from zero to three based on the test rating scale that indicates how much the statement applied to them in the past week. 

The results will show the scores and the corresponding severity of their signs of depression, anxiety, or stress. A doctor can help interpret the scores and provide a person with immediate support if the assessment shows that a person is at severe risk for a mental health disorder. 

Mosh’s mental health plans come with ongoing consultations so your doctor can stay updated about the symptoms you experience or how you respond to the medications or treatments they recommend, if any. There is also no obligation to push through with any treatment plan recommended by your Mosh doctor. You can also switch to a different doctor if you feel that your current one isn't a good fit for you. 

Mosh is committed to providing personalised care that meets your individual needs and preferences. Whether you need reliable advice for your own mental health concern or want to learn more about mental health so you will know what to say to someone with depression, Mosh is here for you. 


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