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Online Bipolar Assessment Quiz Creating Mental Health Stigma

March 18, 2015 Andrea Paquette

One, particular online bipolar assessment quiz (link to it) is creating mental health stigma on the Internet at the moment, particularly going viral on Facebook. I received the quiz on my Facebook feed yesterday, as a friend had posted it, and she commented that she received a zero percent chance that she has bipolar disorder. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 13 years ago, I decided to comment on the quiz in a critical and constructive manner, but I also submitted my answers, and discovered that I, also, have a zero percent chance of having bipolar disorder. I sarcastically responded, “It is a good thing I took this quiz, and I better contact my psychiatrist for a second opinion. Thank you.”

An Online Bipolar Assessment Quiz is Stigmatizing Mental Illness

The title of the quiz is “How Bipolar Are you?” The host site, Quiztoday.org, states,

Are you prone to dramatic and unpredictable mood-swings? What about anxiety and frustration. What’s your level of uniqueness? Find that all out right here. The results will burst your bubble!!

As I scanned the quiz, my heart raced and my blood boiled because I instantly identified the stigma inherent in this quiz and I felt compelled to write about it today. I am angry.

I took the stigmatizing bipolar quiz and read some of the questions, and they asked,

Do I feel people could control my thoughts? How often do I wish I was an animal? How much did I worry about the unknown?

It also included stereotypical blot paintings asking what I perceived them to be. It even went as far to have four evil looking cartoon characters and questioned, "Which character looks the most intimidating to me?" It continues with more irrelevant and offensive questions, and as I posted the quiz on the wall with my opinion, many of my friends rallied and wrote the website responsible exclaiming that it was stigmatizing and just plain wrong.

Online Bipolar Assessment Quizzes May Cause Mental Health Stigma and Misdiagnosis

An online bipolar assessment quiz is creating mental health stigma on the Internet. Read about why this online bipolar assessment quiz is stigmatizing.

Nobody is a little bipolar or more bipolar. If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then you just plain have the disorder. Do people go around asking “How cancerous are you?” This question would spark outrage and extreme online activism, but only a few have commented about their disgust with this particular bipolar quiz. It is online assessments like these that grow miseducation, stigma and fear about mental illness. The picture shared with the quiz is also extremely disturbing with a young girl appearing scared, no, petrified. I certainly do not look this way and I discern neither do others living with bipolar disorder.

I am very weary of online mental health quizzes altogether, and strongly feel that it is often a tool that perpetuates stigma, or quiet self-diagnosis leading to misdiagnosis. Steering clear and clicking past such quizzes will avoid much needless panic and fear, and although we may be able to identify bipolar symptoms, bipolar disorder presents differently for people. It is best to stay away from them altogether and see a medical professional for an in-person assessment and work with a psychiatrist who is trained and educated. This approach will not only bring you accurate information, unlike online mental illness assessments, but much needed peace of mind.

You can also connect with Andrea on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and at BipolarBabe.com.

APA Reference
Paquette, A. (2015, March 18). Online Bipolar Assessment Quiz Creating Mental Health Stigma, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, October 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2015/03/online-bipolar-assessment-quiz-perpetuating-mental-health-stigma



Author: Andrea Paquette

sherry
March, 20 2015 at 9:05 am

"What about anxiety and frustration." - Is this supposed to a QUESTION?????? ILLITERATE.

sherry
March, 20 2015 at 9:04 am

RUBBISH!

sherry
March, 20 2015 at 9:03 am

"What’s your level of uniqueness?" -?????????????????????????????????????

emily
March, 18 2015 at 8:18 pm

It is a ridiculous quiz, I don't know if it is meant to be serious, or really what the intent is. It says I am 0% bipolar. If this is true, I don't know why I am taking lithium...

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