Google adds anxiety disorder self-assessment tool to Search


These are anxious times for untold millions around the world and Google wants to make it easier to discover information pertaining to those highly unpleasant feelings.

The firm is adding a new clinically-validated questionnaire to its search results on anxiety. This will enable those concerned parties to conduct a self-assessment into whether they’re suffering from an anxiety disorder.

A link to the General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) survey will appear in the knowledge box, alongside symptoms and treatments, when people search for information about anxiety.

The seven questions asks whether respondents suffer from the inability to “stop or control worrying” or feel “nervous, anxious or on edge,” and how often those feelings have occurred over the last couple of weeks.

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Once the questionnaire, which aims to mirror questions that would be asked by a medical professional, is completed, users will receive a score from 0-21. This will inform whether they have minimal to severe anxiety symptoms.

From here, users will be offered information on finding relief, treatment and further resources. There’s the ability to contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a direct link to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment,” Google writes in a blog post on Thursday. “By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.”

The tools are available in the United States right now, but Google hopes to make the survey available in additional countries over time. The company points out that 48 million Americans currently suffer from anxiety-related disorders. That won’t be lessened by the current fears over employment and the health of loved ones caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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