When I go to the doctor for my mental wellbeing, I generally get to do these little assessments that help them decide if my anxiety and depression are getting better or worse. In some ways, these assessments are actually helpful. Sometimes circling all of those answers points out to me that, yeah, I need some tweaking to my treatment. But also, the questions are kind of vague and the scale is not super helpful. Whenever I fill it out, I always think, gosh, there are so many better ways to assess my own particular mental health.
The form sounds something like this: Over the past two weeks, how often, if at all, have you been bothered by the following things. Then you get to answer on a scale of 0-3 (not at all, several days, more than half the days, nearly every day). I always get a really high score, which, as an overachiever, feels good.
If they wanted to REALLY ask what I’ve done/thought/felt/been bothered by to see how I’m truly doing, my form would include questions like these:
Have you vacuumed your garage?
Is bread your primary food?
Are you spending most of your free time lying on the floor?
Do you bake a ridiculous amount?
Are you generally on the verge of crying?
Are you listening to “Autoclave” on repeat?
Have you put off working on your manuscript?
Have you written the words “I hate everything” today?
Are you unable to concentrate on reading?
Do you stare out your bedroom window at the highway behind your house?
Are you sometimes just a teensy tiny little bit unsure how you physically got from point A to point B?
Are you living on Pepto because the mere idea of existence is making you physically ill?
Turning on the comments to this post for your own personal mental health markers. Or you can tell me on Twitter or Facebook. If we’re not already friends there, you can friend me. I mostly post about books and my dogs—I am consistent across all platforms.