One thing I have found to be extremely helpful is this Hamilton Anxiety Scale. It's main purpose is to assess the severity of anxiety symptoms.
Anyone can take it, including children.
The Hamilton Anxiety Scale was created by Max Hamilton in 1959 and even though a lot of time has passed, lots of doctors still use it. It is a psychological questionnaire and is really for people who have severe anxiety and think they have a real anxiety disorder. It's not for someone who just has stress.
Hamilton Anxiety Scale Scoring
0 = Not Present
1 = Mild
2 = Moderate
3 = Severe
4 = Very Severe
Remember, the higher the score, the worse your symptoms are.
So, read the questions, rate yourself and we will total them up at the end. And please be very honest with yourself, otherwise this will not be accurate... Ok, so we will describe symptoms, you rate how severe those symptoms are for you. Ok, so let's get started!
#1. How badly do you worry, anticipating the worst? Is your anticipation really fearful? How bad is your irritability in connection with this?
Anxious Mood Rating: _____
#2. How severe are your feelings of tension and fatigue? Do you startle easily? Are you moved to tears easily? Do you tremble? Do you feel restless? Are you simply unable to relax?
Tension Rating: _____
#3. Are you afraid of the dark? Are you afraid of being left alone? Are you afraid of animals? Are you afraid of crowds? Are you afraid of strangers? Are you afraid of traffic?
Fear Rating: _____
#4. Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you have broken sleep often? Is your sleep unsatisfying and are you still exhausted when you wake up? How severe are your dreams, nightmares and night terrors?
Insomnia Rating: _____
#5. Do you have a hard time concentrating? Are you often forgetful?
Intellectual Rating: _____
#6. Have you lost interest in hobbies you used to enjoy? Have you lost pleasure in things you used to like to do? Do you feel depressed? Do you wake up really early or really late? Does your body temperature fluctuate a lot?
Depressed Mood Rating: _____
#7. Do you have aches and pains in your muscles? Do you often have muscle twitching and stiffness? Do your muscles randomly jerk for no reason? Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you have an unsteady voice sometimes? Do you have increased muscle tone (because of your muscles staying tense all of the time)?
Somatic (muscular) Rating: _____
#8. Do you have ringing or buzzing in your ears? Do you have blurred vision? Do you have hot and/or cold flashes? Do you experience feelings of weakness? Do you sometimes feel a pricking sensation on your skin or elsewhere?
Somatic (sensory) Rating: _____
#9. Do you have an abnormally rapid heartbeat or sometimes your heart feels like it skips a beat? Do you have heart palpitations? Do you have pain in your chest? Do your blood vessels throb? Do you feel like you are going to faint?
Cardiovascular Symptoms Rating: _____
#10. Do you experience pressure or constriction in your chest? Do you experience a "choking feeling" often? Do you sigh often? Do you experience difficult or labored breathing?
Respiratory Symptoms Rating: _____
#11. Do you have difficulty swallowing? Do you experience abdominal pain, a burning sensation or fullness? Do you experience nausea or vomiting? Do you have a rumbling, gurgling noise in your stomach or intestines? Do you experience loose bowels, loss of weight or constipation?
Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating: _____
#12. Do you urinate frequently and urgently? Is your menstrual cycle abnormally absent or abnormally heavy? Are you not able to enjoy sexual relations as before? Do you experience premature ejaculation? Do you experience loss of libido or impotence?
Genitourinary Symptoms Rating: _____
#13. Do you have dry mouth? Are you abnormally pale? Do you have a tendency to sweat heavily? Do you act giddy sometimes? Do you have tension headaches? Do you feel like your hair is raising up sometimes?
Autonomic Symptoms Rating: _____
Now, this is the most difficult question... be honest!!!
#14. How do you feel taking this test? Are you fidgeting? Do you feel restless just thinking about these things? Is your forehead furrowed (crinkled up)? Do you have a strained face? Are you sighing or breathing rapidly? Look in the mirror, is your face pale? Does your throat feel tight?
Behavior Taking Anxiety Scale-Rating: _____
Ok, now add up your answers. Rate yourself according to your Total:
0-17 means your anxiety is mild
18-24 means your anxiety is mild to moderate
25-30 means your anxiety is moderate to severe
Certainly, this Hamilton Anxiety Scale is no diagnosis, but I hope it can, at the very least, point you in the right direction. It helps you to know whether you need to look for treatment or not. Remember, there are lots of very effective anxiety and depression treatments out there, it's just a matter of finding the one that is right for you personally.