If you go to see your doctor and you describe yourself as having anxiety, then how does the doctor determine just how much you suffer from anxiety?
Many people label the many symptoms of anxiety under the same umbrella and merely call it anxiety. Anxiety though comes in many flavors. Your own labeling of anxiety may be that you are currently suffering a brief stressful time at work. Another person may have been experiencing anxiety for a very long time, and the symptoms may be ruining that person’s life completely.
The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale
William W. K. Zung M.D understood that doctors needed to have some way of categorizing the anxiety levels of their patients. A patient suffering from mild anxiety would require a different therapy to one suffering from severe anxiety. William W. K. Zung M.D, created his ‘Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale’ to assist doctors in determining their patients level of anxiety. It is important to note that the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, is not the final answer for the doctor, but rather a starting point. The doctor will still have detailed discussions with the patient to examine all the factors.
How The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale works
The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale is a series of questions, accompanied by a scale of frequencies (how often the situation applies to or does not apply to, the patient being tested.) The options for the patient appear in the image above. The patient will also give their reply as a number ranging from 1 to 4 to gauge the severity.
While the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale was created in 1971, it is still in use to the present day.
How Useful Is The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale?
The main point to keep in mind is that the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale is not a tool used to arrive at a final diagnosis by a doctor. The ‘Scale’ is merely a tool that delivers a result that has more meaning than a patient only saying that they have anxiety, with no quantifiable sense to that statement.
The final results are score-based, and each level of scores indicates the anxiety level being experienced by the patient. The questions in the test and the resulting conclusions can sometimes be a little confusing (even misleading.) The reason for this possible ambiguity is that many symptoms that the patient may be suffering from may not be on the list of questions. Furthermore, some of the results obtained may judge a very anxious person as only having mild anxiety. Such a different result can occur because the symptoms experienced may appear to be mild, but perhaps the patient has been suffering from them for many years, so this makes them severe!
As previously mentioned, the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale is not used as the final tool of diagnosis, and the scale is undoubtedly only a tool to make some useful initial progress. The Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale does however offer a good starting point for the doctor to continue with their diagnosis.
Ready To Test Yourself?
The quiz below covers some of the main types of questions you’ll come across while completing the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale. This quiz is not the full version, but you’ll still get a meaningful result at the end. You can share that result on your favorite social media platforms if you wish!
Ready? Let’s Go…