Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Ever since my friend told me about how she has an anxiety disorder, I’ve always thought about whether or not I had one also. I took MANY online tests and quizzes since, and I’ve read many things about anxiety, and it would honestly explain EVERYTHING if I were to have one. To add to that, I took the quiz on this site and I scored a 46. But, I’ve only told a few friends about this, and it’s already hard enough to do that, for some reason, I get really sensitive about that. I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen to me if I try to tell my parents. I can barely talk to them as it is, I’m kind of a quiet person, I already keep a lot of things to myself, it has become a habit. I know things could get better if only I could tell them about this, but I know I just cannot. I’ve considered seeing a counselor at my school, but I’m not that type of person…I tend to try to deal with problems myself…but I really need to know if I have an anxiety disorder, and the only way I can find out is by telling my parents so I can visit a doctor, and they would have to take me, seeing as how I can’t go anywhere by myself. I would love to know what you suggest with this, like, how could it be made easier for me to tell my parents about this? I know they would understand, I just can’t talk to them…Thanks :D

A: Thank you for taking the time to write. At 16 years old I can understand how difficult it would be to ask for help. So far you have done all the right things in gathering information: You have been reflective of your own behavior; have taken multiple tests; and have now written us here–all good steps. Your parents and the guidance counselor can’t help if they don’t know you need it. Show the guidance counselor in your school this letter by sending a link to him or her and request a meeting. This will do two things. It will introduce the issue to the counselor before you walk in the door, and it will give you a chance to talk to someone who is very familiar with these kinds of things, and can help you find a way to cope. It is okay to ask for help. This informs people of what our needs are.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Mar 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/03/27/anxiety-disorder-2/