Thursday, April 29, 2010

Apparently I'm Getting More Sane ...

Hello Friends:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I enjoy taking many of those time-wasting quizzes that one runs into on the internet.  In December, I took the The Sanity Score, and recorded my results.  I thought it might be interesting to see if the scores changed in any statistically meaningful way over time.  I have been feeling a little bit better recently (less depressed, although more anxious) and thought I'd see how or if this was reflected in my test results.

The quiz is hardly a precision instrument, since it claims to rate over a dozen issues in the space of about 80 questions or so.  So I took it twice, both times, and averaged the results.  This meant I had data to play with (dear God I love data).  I made up a spreadsheet, of course. And here's what I found. (BTW, numbers are rounded up behind the scenes, which is why 46 - 46 = -1)

Really the only important thing to note is the last column (D) which is the delta, or change since last time.  In this quiz, lower numbers are better, so negative change is good.  The overall sanity score is on a scale from 1 to 288.  Yeah, weird.  The other numbers range from 1 to 100, with anything 50 or above considered a critical issue that definitely needs addressing.  I'm not sure, but I think anything above 35 is considered a minor issue that probably needs addressing.

The largest drop was in Depression from a 'major issue' of 49 to 30.  I wasn't surprised to see the drop, but I was surprised it was so dramatic.  I still feel somewhat depressed, and my functionality isn't great.  But I suppose that's what 30 means, then.  I can't imagine what 100 must feel like - probably 'coma.'

The 17 point drop in phobias probably isn't real.  I say this because the test has some confusing questions about phobias, and they overlap with some of the anxiety questions.  I don't think my phobias were actually at 59 to begin with.  Even 42 seems high for how I deal with spiders, for example.  Plane flights, though, that's probably pretty accurate.

So that means the other serious drops were seen in PTSD and OCD, down thirteen points in each.  This seems right to me.  I do feel less like I am ritualizing about things like doorknobs, and my overall fear of places that can trigger flashbacks is lower, too.  It seems to be more difficult to trigger them.  These are still major issues, but I think the scores here gibe with my own experience.

The only gain was 5 points in the GAD category.  This definitely seems accurate, given that when my depression goes down, my anxiety always goes up.  When I'm depressed, I don't worry as much because I just don't care.  Now that I'm pulling out of the depression, I'm starting to worry more.  Still, GAD continues to hover around 50, and is not going through the roof.  This is good.

Overall, almost everything dropped or stayed constant.  This is reflected in the Overall score, which dropped a serious 18 points from 88 to 70.  Seventy would make me almost sane - a person with issues to deal with, but who has the resilience, skills, and resources to cope and manage.  Sounds scary.  Am I that person?  I don't feel that tough. But maybe I will ...

I continue to bemoan the fact that I did not take the test when I was at my worst.  Of course, when you are at your worst, you can't use your computer, let alone find a website and stay focused for 15 solid minutes to take a quiz.

If you check out the test, I'd be interested in hearing what you thought of it, and if you want to share any of your own numbers.

Your Hostess With Neuroses

Image credit/info: / CC BY 2.0


Andy said...

Interesting test, I agree that it's not exactly clear how much precision there is (though they report numbers to two significant digits) and whether that precision changes with category.

We've talked at times about the idea that many of these issues are paired, like anxiety and depression. If someone were megamaniacal, would that show up as a "self-esteem issue", or does that only cover negative feelings about oneself in this test?

The Blue Morpho said...

Interesting question - my memory of the test suggests that the self esteem questions focus on positive/negative. I think any other issues would be included under something like mania.

DrugsAreGood said...

Hi, it's me, as discussed. ;)

I took the quiz last time you posted about it. I don't remember my exact numbers, but it did say I was across the board sane, which was kinda nice. :P My numbers for depression were a bit elevated, not surprisingly, but well within the ok range. I'm sure that's entirely thanks to the drugs.

The Blue Morpho said...

Hey there DrugsAreGood! Yes, I recall the conversation :) I'm sure my own increase in sanity is thanks to steady med use, as well. But I do have to say that my somatic therapy has helped tons with the PTSD stuff. It's all a package, I am sure, with any gains in getting more sleep, better meds, good food, more exercise, regular therapy, etc. playing off of one another. A small gain in one area will make it easier to gain in another, a good chain effect.

Amy said...

I love that chart. There's something about the numbers that seems to objectify the pain a bit, that enables one to look at it outside of oneself.

Popular Posts