Social Anxiety and SUDs Ratings

Subjective Units of Distress Scale is an Essential Evaluation Tool

The SUDs Rating Scale, or Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDs) as it is officially known, is used to measure the intensity of distress or nervousness in people with social anxiety . The SUDs are a self-assessment tool that is rated on a scale of 0 to 100. The SUDs can be a subjective tool used by your therapist or healthcare provider to evaluate your progress and the success of your current treatment plan.

This way, it can be used regularly over the months of your treatment to measure different areas of disorder that require additional work.

SUDs Rating Process

A common technique in cognitive therapy is to use the SUDs tool to measure your distress or emotional state. Guidelines for the SUDs include the intensity of your anxiety, as it is experienced at the moment, while making the body stiff or stiff. Below is a simplified version of the scale with different guidelines:

  • 0: Peace and complete calm
  • 1: No real distress, but perhaps a slight feeling of discomfort
  • 2: a little sad or down
  • 3: Worried or upset
  • 4: Remember to the point that negative thoughts start to affect you
  • 5: Uninvolved and uncomfortable
  • 6: Accident to the point where you feel a change is necessary
  • 7: Discomfort dominates your mind and you struggle not to show it
  • 8: Panic sets in
  • 9: Feeling desperate, helpless and unable to cope
  • 10: Unbearably excited to the point that you can not function and may be on the verge of an interruption

Exact accuracy of measurement is not important. The SUDs are rather a broad guide to give your therapist an idea of ​​what you are experiencing. It is especially important to share this with your therapist because it reflects how you feel about your need, rather than how someone else is judging your fears.

It can be difficult to share with your therapist the intensity of what you are feeling. This way, the SUDs give you a simple way to express the seriousness of your emotions.

It is common for people with social anxiety to feel emotions and fears more intensely than others. What could be a small incident for someone else can be a disaster for you. Social anxiety affects your perspective and how you view yourself and those around you.

SUDs and Therapy

Using the SUDs can help you and your therapist track improvements or setbacks. Make sure you complete the scale honestly to enable your therapist to judge appropriately what works and what does not. Through the SUDs scale, you can realize that you feel very worried about something that will not bother others. It can help you identify areas you need to work on.

As you go through the SUDs assessment, you can identify areas to work with your therapist. Your therapist can work you through techniques such as points of contention, during which you recognize irrational thoughts and work to replace them with more rational ways of investigating situations. It is a learned skill that you determine during therapy, but keep constantly evolving in your daily routine.

You may find that working through these issues improves your SUD rating.

A Word From

Rating scales like the SUDs are only useful if you complete them honestly. Try not to react the way you think your therapist would like, as this can be a trap for those with a social anxiety disorder. Instead, rate ratings based on how you feel at the moment, whether you think it’s good or bad to feel that way. Research on the use of SUDs with children and adolescents in particular has shown that miscommunication can sometimes be a problem. If you fall into this age group, please tell your therapist or doctor if you are not sure how to complete the SUD instrument.


by Abdullah Sam
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