Do I have a dissociative disorder? - The first step
Often a first step in the process of obtaining a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder can be to use a screening tool. Some people might want to use them just for personal validation of their symptoms. PODS now provides free scoring of dissociative symptoms using standardised tools. Please read the following information, and then click the 'Proceed' button at the bottom of the page to use this service.
What is a screening tool?
A screening tool uses a list of questions to identify who may have a high risk or likelihood of a disease or condition. Public Health England describe screening like a sieve: most people pass through because they are at low risk. However, some people's results show a higher risk or likelihood of the condition. But further tests are required to confirm/diagnose the actual presence of that condition.
Image courtesy of Public Health England (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-population-screening-explained)
What screening tools are used for dissociative disorders including DID?
The two most common are:
- the DES (Dissociative Experiences Scale), which looks at psychological symptoms
- the SDQ-20 (Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire), which looks mainly at physical symptoms or body experiences.
They are 'self-reported measures'. This means that you complete them yourself.
The questions require a number on a scale of 1 to 5 or on a scale of 1 to 100.
Will a screening tool give me a diagnosis?
No. But a higher score indicates a greater likelihood of suffering from a dissociative disorder, which would warrant further investigation.
An 'official' diagnosis is usually given using the SCID-D clinical assessment tool, delivered face-to-face by a qualified clinician.
For more information on getting a diagnosis please click here.
Does a professional need to administer or score the tools?
No. You complete the screening tools yourself. At PODS we use publically available tools to score the results, and then we explain what the results mean.
Disclaimer: These self-report questionnaires are not a substitute for a clinical diagnosis, advice or treatment. By submitting your answers, you accept that PODS is not responsible or liable for the outcome of the results, or any decisions or events resulting from it.
What's the point of using these screening tools?
A report which shows the result of the screening tools, for example a high likelihood of a dissociative disorder, can be useful as personal validation, or it may be a helpful first step to show a GP or mental health team as a way of requesting a full clinical assessment.
Are there limitations of such screening tools?
Yes, especially because this is a self-report tool.
- There can be false positives: someone who overestimates their symptoms.
- There can be false negatives: someone who underestimates or denies their symptoms. This is particularly true when people have 'amnesia for amnesia'.
How do I complete these screening tools?
- You must be aged 18 or over
- You need to log in to the PODS website
- You need to complete this on a computer or tablet using the full desktop version and NOT the mobile version
- You can complete the tools by clicking on the proceed button below.
What information do I need to submit?
- Basic personal information (eg name, email, gender, age)
- Answers to 28 questions for the DES
- Answers to 20 questions for the SDQ-20
What happens afterwards?
- A member of the PODS team will score your answers using the standardised scoring tools
- We will email you a letter which will summarise your answers, provide the results of the scoring and also give an explanation of the results and what this means
- You can see an example of the letter you will receive here
- We will also suggest some possible avenues you might wish to investigate depending on the results
- We aim to do this within 14 days.
Are the questionnaires anonymous?
No, this is NOT an anonymous questionnaire. Your identification details will be required. However, your responses will be confidential and are only available to approved members of the PODS team in order to score your answers. We will not share this information with anyone else.
Can I save my results and come back to it later?
Yes. Press the save button at the bottom of each page, and then you can return to complete the rest later. Please don't do this if you are using a public computer. You must be signed in to complete the questionnaires.
How do I proceed?
If you are aged 18 or over and would like to continue, please make sure you are logged in to the PODS website and then please click on the PROCEED button. If you are not logged in you will get a red error message.