Anxiety is not a one size fits all disorder, and not every treatment works for everyone, but now Teen Vogue reports that there’s a new test teenagers can take to see if therapy or medicine will work best for their anxiety. 

This new test is called ERN, which stands for error-related negativity, and as Teen Vogue continues, with this test, you are “set up with a scenario in which” participants are “pretty much guaranteed to make a mistake.” When you make the mistake, and then the test measure how you react to the stress of making the mistake. 

You are tested through electrical responses in your brain, and if the electrical responses are high, you would probably benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, and if the responses are lower, medication may be a better road to combat anxiety. 

As Stephanie Gorka, who is the assistant professor of psychiatry for the UIC College of Medicine, said, “People with anxiety disorders tend to show an exaggerated neural response to their own mistakes. This is a biological internal alarm that tells you that you’ve made a mistake and that you should modify your behavior to prevent making the same mistake again. It is useful in helping people adapt, but for those with anxiety, this alarm is much, much louder.”

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