About PTSD Self Assessments
Over the years a number of paper-and-pencil tests have been developed to assist clinicians and researchers in evaluating PTSD symptoms. If you have experienced, witnessed, or learned about an event that caused you to feel intense fear or helplessness, then completing these tests will help determine whether you might have PTSD.
It is important to keep in mind that your self-assessment won't confirm whether or not you have PTSD. Only a trained mental health professional can provide you with a valid diagnosis of any mental health condition.
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorders Checklist (PCL) is particularly useful for self-assessment. The two-page PCL should take five minutes or less to complete. Again, while this test will not diagnose PTSD, it can help you determine the nature and extent of your symptoms and whether you should consider seeking advice from your doctor or a mental health care professional.
Understanding Your Score:
Calculate your PCL score by adding the numbers that correspond with the responses you selected. If you scored 44 or higher, it is likely that you have PTSD; however, scores approaching 40 may indicate partial PTSD. If your score is greater than 40, we recommend that you discuss the issue of PTSD with your family doctor. You might consider bringing a copy of your completed PCL to your appointment with your doctor—it can be a good starting point for your discussion. Your doctor may refer you to a healthcare professional who can provide specialized counseling and treatment for your trauma-related symptoms.
This online screening for PTSD from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) may also be useful to you. While there is no scoring for the test, you can print it out and share the test with a trained mental health professional who can review the assessment and determine the best course of treatment for you.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test
The ACE Study is one of the largest scientific research studies of its kind, with over 17,000 mostly middle income Americans participating. The focus was to analyze the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental illness in adulthood.
Over the course of a decade, the results demonstrated a strong, graded relationship between the level of traumatic stress in childhood and poor physical, mental and behavioral outcomes later in life. No new study participants are being accepted into the study. However, you might like to know your own ACE Score.
Self Assessment for Veterans
This test is designed specifically for veterans and their family or friends. PTSD is not uncommon for veterans, and help is available.