Tip 4 | Test Anxiety & Depression
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides several signs to look for when you are feeling especially anxious, stressed, or depressed:
- Fear of failure. While the pressure to perform can act as a motivator, it can also be devastating to individuals who tie their self-worth to the outcome of a test.
- Lack of preparation. Waiting until the last minute or not studying at all can leave individuals feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
- Poor test history. Previous problems or bad experiences with test-taking can lead to a negative mindset and influence performance on future tests.
These can all be signals that you have severe test anxiety or even depression. So what solutions or treatments exist?
First and foremost, if you believe you may be suffering from severe anxiety or depression, immediately seek the help of a professional counselor. Most schools and universities have counselors for this very purpose. Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin of Mayo Hospital suggests:
Talk therapy (psychotherapy) with a psychologist or other mental health provider can help you work through feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that cause or worsen anxiety. Ask if your school has counseling services or ask if your employer offers counseling through an employee assistance program.
The Einstein school of medicine suggests paying attention to how you treat yourself when you are stressed. Many times we can be extra hard on ourselves when we are tired, frustrated, and anxious. Self-hate can quickly lead to even more stress and lower self-esteem.
Change: your self-talk
Change: I can’t do it to “I can do it!” (by preparing for the exam better, you’re more likely to believe this!)
Change: “I’m stupid” to “I’m smart.” (using study guides or learning strategies can make this a reality)
Change: “I don’t know” to “I do know.” (being confident can help change your emotional AND mental state)
Just remember, depression and severe anxiety are not to be messed with, if you think you are struggling with one or both of these, don’t ignore it. Treat it.