Social Interaction Anxiety Scale
Are you interested in taking the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)?
This social anxiety test includes 24 questions/statements used to determine whether social anxiety is a problem for you in various areas of your life. This test was developed by psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Michael R. Liebowitz.
You can use the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale to assess whether what you are feeling could be social anxiety.
I’ll point you in the direction of where you can take the test in a little bit.
Why It’s Used
The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale is mostly used in research studies to assess levels of social anxiety symptoms of participants before and after treatment.
It might also be used by a psychologist or psychiatrist to figure out exactly what sort of issues you are having.
The test asks you about both anxiety and avoidance.
So, for example, perhaps you report that you don’t have anxiety about public speaking. The test also asks whether you avoid public speaking.
That’s important to know as well because it can indicate that you would have anxiety, you just choose to avoid the situation.
Accuracy of the Liebowitz
The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale has been validated for use as a screening assessment.
This means that it can be given to a large group of people (like in a research study) and it will be helpful to figure out who is struggling.
This means that you should also use it for this purpose: it can help you figure out whether you may need to see your doctor or go for a more thorough assessment.
Social Anxiety Test Questions
Let’s take a look at an example item from the Liebowitz.
The very first item on the test is “Telephoning in Public.”
You would rate how much fear/anxiety this behavior has caused you in the past week using the rating scale below:
- 0 = none
- 1 = mild
- 2 = moderate
- 3 = severe
Then, you would choose how much you avoided the situation in the past week based on the choices below:
- 0 = never
- 1 = occasionally
- 2 = often
- 3 = severe
If you never have to make calls in public, then you would imagine how you would feel if you had to.
For example, if you had a job where you had to make phone calls in front of people, how would you feel?
Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Scoring
The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale is scored by summing your individual item scores to get a total score. Your total score is then compared to the descriptors below.
- 55-65: Moderate social anxiety
- 65-80: Marked social anxiety
- 80-95: Severe social anxiety
- >95: Very severe social anxiety
However, your score on this test needs to be considered in the larger context of your life. This is something that a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional would do.
Where to Take It
If you’d like to take the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, you can do that for free at this link.
However, I want to make it very clear that this is only for your own information to learn more about your symptoms.
Only a mental health professional can formally assess and treat social anxiety—that’s not done with a single test.
What to Do Next
What if you’ve taken the Liebowitz and now you think social anxiety is a real problem for you?
The best next step is to make an appointment with your doctor. If that feels scary or hard, you could ask a friend or family member to call for you.
Tell them that you’ve taken a screening test for social anxiety and that you’re concerned it’s a problem for you. This information can then be relayed to your doctor.
The good news is that there are effective treatments for social anxiety in the form of medication and therapy. It’s actually a highly treatable problem; it’s just that most people with this problem never seek help.
And, if you don’t want to see a therapist in person, I recommend online therapy through Betterhelp. Readers of About Social Anxiety receive 20% of their first month of therapy. You can read more about the service in my review.
Most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone!
There are people just like you all over the world living with the same struggles. And also many who are now feeling much better.
How about you? Have you taken the Liebowitz test? Feel free to share your result in the comments. And if you are looking for more resources for social anxiety, be sure to sign up for our free resources.
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