Friday, August 22, 2008

Well, I'm not insane

The PsychCentral Website has an array of insightful diagnostic tools to measure your sanity and overall mental well being. You have to register, but that takes less than a minute and the only personal information required is your email address.

Being ever curious about scientific assessments of my mental health, I started with a lengthy tool called the Sanity Score. As it turns out, I'm relatively sane (compared to whom, I'm not certain); however, I have some serious "concerns." Oddly enough, bipolar disorder didn't even register on this test. You're not in serious trouble until your score exceeds 150. Here are the highlights of my test:

Your Sanity Score

(The Sanity Score is based upon a scientific algorithm with scores ranging from 0 - 288.)

Based upon your answers, you appear to be experiencing some distress at the moment -- your overall mental health is affected by this distress. People with similar scores tend to experience more difficulty in coping with life, and may feel like they need more help than they're currently getting. Because of this, your mental health could likely use a little boost.

(Subscales range from 0 - 100)

(!)General Coping: 64 People with similar scores as yours tend to feel overwhelmed by life or specific things in life right now. You appear to express a great degree of unhappiness with life right now, which strongly suggests a change would be helpful, such as seeking out professional help or talking to a doctor about your concerns.

Life Events: 31 You're experiencing events in your life that may be negatively affecting your overall mental health and your ability to cope with other things in your life. This may also affect your mood.

(!)Depression: 84 People with scores similar to yours are typically suffering from a moderate to severe depressive episode. This is also known as clinical depression or just plain depression. People who have answered similarly to you typically qualify for a diagnosis of major depression and have sought professional treatment for this disorder. (I'll get right on that...)

Anxiety: 45 People with scores similar to yours are typically experiencing some degree of anxiety, which may or may not be a concern serious enough to seek out professional help. Remember that a little anxiety in normal, everyday life is to be expected and is a good thing. Nobody should be without any anxiety whatsoever, as anxiety is our body's way of telling us that we should pay closer attention to a situation, event or person in our lives (even if that person is ourselves). Scores in this range suggests a person may be experiencing elevated levels of anxiety that may be causing some distress in an individual. The most common anxiety disorders diagnosed are either panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.

(!!)Self-Esteem: 100 (ding!ding!ding! We have a winner! Or a loser, if you're me.) People with scores similar to yours express some major concerns with their self-esteem. Self-esteem is most often the product of our upbringing and personalities. It is something that a self-help book or psychotherapist can help a person learn to readily improve in even just a few sessions. (Snort laugh of skepticism and disgust)

Eating Disorders: 40 People with scores similar to yours often have a trait or two associated with an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. Eating disorders occur due to poor self-image and self-esteem, often as a result of childhood experiences. People with scores similar to yours often go through life with a somewhat unhealthy attitude and approach to eating, but aren't bothered by it enough to seek professional assistance for it.

Your BMI: 33.
Your body mass index suggests you may also be dealing with obesity as an ongoing life issue.
(This thing is fuckin' psychic.)

Dissociation: 25 People with scores similar to yours sometimes lose track of time, people, places or events, but not to the extent that it causes serious problems in the individual's life.

Relationship Issues: 31 People with scores similar to yours often have a minor or moderate relationship issue that is causing them some concern.

Physical Issues: 50 People with scores similar to yours often have a physical issue that causes them some concern or effort in their daily lives.

(!)Technology Issues: 69 People with scores similar to yours often complain about having difficulty controlling their time or use of the Internet and other technologies. People with this sort of problem often identify it as being "addicted to the Internet." Some therapists may be able to help you with this issue and reduce your Internet use or use of other technologies so that it interferes less with important relationships in your life, such as those with your friends, family, or significant other. (I'm surprised this score wasn't higher.)

Obsessions & Compulsions: 25 People with scores similar to yours are sometimes diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive disorder or have obsessions or compulsions that affect a person's life from time to time. Many people who have similar scores live with these occasional obsessions or compulsions fairly well and do not seek additional treatment for them. (We're all a little OCD.)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): 42 People with scores similar to yours sometimes have a trait or two associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder characterized by reliving a suffered trauma through flashbacks, nightmares or other recollections of the event.

Borderline Traits: 54 People with scores similar to yours often have traits associated with borderline personality disorder. (OK, this result just plain hurts. Seriously. Ouch.)

You have 5 serious concern(s) that we've identified. Generally such concerns should be checked out with a mental health professional as soon as you can. (I'll get right on that.)

You have 9 milder concern(s) that we've identified. Such concerns may be a part of an ordinary person's usual up's and down's in life.

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