An online personality disorder test is sometimes used as a means of screening an individual for possible mental health issues. Tests often consist of a short set of questions that may be based upon one of ten disorders. Many online personality disorder tests are free, but a website may not be hosted by someone who is qualified to properly diagnose such issues. While a test may provide an individual with a general idea of whether he or she has a personality disorder if the individual answers honestly, one-size-fits-all online testing cannot replace the diagnosis of a qualified medical practitioner.
Although tests differ, they often ask questions in a “yes” or “no” format. An example of a question that might be found on an online personality disorder test would be “I believe everyone I meet is conspiring against me.” The test taker reads a statement, decides if it applies, and answers affirmatively or negatively. After all the questions have been answered, the test taker's responses are evaluated, and the likelihood of having a particular personality disorder is displayed onscreen.
The results of an online personality disorder test can be helpful to a person who believes that he or she may actually need professional help. The results, however, can only be accurate if the test taker answers questions honestly. Some individuals may not want to admit that they may have a problem or the degree of its severity. They might also believe a disorder is either more or less worse than in actuality. If an individual truly has a personality disorder, especially a severe one, only a licensed psychiatrist or other mental health professional will be able to properly diagnose it.
An online personality disorder test can be taken by proxy, i.e., by those who are concerned that a friend or family member has a mental health issue. This may make the test results more or less accurate. Third parties may be able to provide more detached, honest answers to the test questions, thereby leading to more accurate results. Conversely, they may not really know how the individual in question feels or behaves on an ongoing basis. Because the questions are usually very personal in nature, and deal with one's innermost thoughts and feelings, it can be difficult for answers provided by a third party to be fully accurate.
An online personality disorder test can screen individuals for ten different disorders. These include antisocial, avoidant, borderline, dependent, histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. Some disorders may be easier to diagnose than others. By their nature, some disorders cause a person to become withdrawn and avoid seeking help. Other disorders can cause an individual to become angry and in denial. An online personality disorder test may not be helpful or accurate in such situations.