Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Even More Sane Than Ever

Hello Friends:

As you know by now I love online quizzes, and I love talking about the crazies.  So pretty much nothing can beat an online quiz about the crazies.  My favorite for the last two years has been The Sanity Score at PsychCentral.  I've mentioned before that I don't think it is terribly diagnostic, but given that I've taken this exact same test five times now over the last two years, it has proven an interesting way to track my perception of my own mental health.

And has given me data.  Which I also love.  'Cause you can graph it.  Like so.

I left off some of the points I had on the last time because now there are five lines, and the whole thing can get to be a little difficult to read.  Many points haven't changed at all, and as I mentioned before, the scores for things like Mania and Dissociation do not seem to really work well.

To recap, lower scores mean better mental health.  Overall Score is from 0 to 288, while all the other subscores are from 0 to 100.  For the Overall Score, I think anything below 50 is probably pretty normal, assuming nobody is perfect.  For subscores, anything below ten or so is probably just 'normal life' and not something most people would seek treatment for.  An issue at 25 needs help, and something at 50 needs lots of help.  Over that, the situation is probably pretty dire.

So my analysis of myself.  The general good news is that almost everything has improved, if only a very little bit, since the last time I took the test six months ago (I hadn't blogged about that.  My last blog post on this topic was a year ago.)  This heartening to see.  I'm especially happy to see that General Coping continues its slow improving trend, including amazingly (if more subtly) Self Esteem. 

About 3.5 years ago, I went into a bad depressive episode.  Too depressed to even do online quizzes.  It wasn't until I had started getting additional help to get out of it that I found The Sanity Score and started tracking.  By that time, my depression was down to simply 'bad' with a score of about 50.  The next six months saw it drop markedly, and it has been slowly improving since then.  My depression is now at a level where it still bothers me, but isn't ruling my life. 

PTSD also went down in severity the first six months, but then didn't move for a year.  Now finally after 1.5 years, it has moved down a tiny bit.  It is still too high, probably because of questions that ask about recurrent nightmares and intrusive thoughts about past events.  These still bother me a great deal, but perhaps not to the extent the score would suggest.

Anxiety took an extra six months to make a steep drop, and then has held steady for a whole year at about 25.  OCD also dropped a lot in that first year, but now isn't going anywhere, and is up around 35.

So what does it all mean?  Overall good, but there are indications that I'm not making much progress in some areas that really need to improve.  I think this might be an indication of a need to bump up the meds, but I'm not sure.  I know my pdoc is thinking we might go up a little, but I've been hoping that my other techniques like yoga, meditation, exercise, and better food would close the gap for me, here. 

Of course, I'm not doing those things like I should.  I talk a good talk, but I need to actually get into real habits before I'm going to see if they will be enough, or not.  Stay tuned ...

Have you tried the Sanity Score? 
Your Hostess With Neuroses

Image credit/info: Happy Flowers by rkrichardson from Flikr via Creative Commons, CC 2.0

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