“We have an app for that.” In the next fifteen minutes, you can find out if your sane. Or not.
We’re a technology crazy country with our phones plugged into our ears and gadgets that require more updates than children. Faster than you can have your new IPad 2 “like” something you StumbledUpon, or as quickly as that advanced search you whipped up from the hallowed pages brought forth by Google while you stand on a remote island beach, somewhere on the vast Internet you can find out what day “they” think you’re going to expire and if you’re bonkers.
More helpful, perhaps, is brought forth on a medically credible site with more than 100,000 registered test takers to tell you what your sanity quotient might be. Psych Central has long been one of my favorite haunts on the Internet. Now for the larger audience of the world that doesn’t read text books for fun, Psych Central offers something for those seeking a higher understanding of mental health with a barrage of personality, disorder, relationship, sex and sanity testing.
If you ever wondered if you were really losing your mind, there is no time like the present to find out. The Sanity Score helps people test their level of mental health from the comfort of home or office, including the ability to establish a private account and save scores for later comparison. Just click that link or head over to www.sanityscore.com to register with Psych Central.
I found it refreshing that I was boringly normal in most ways, although the test was amazingly accurate. Within a few minutes, it had “diagnosed” ~ recommended ~ that I see a psychologist for the amount of post traumatic stress that shows in my profile. It’s true: the loss of a close personal friend and the loss of a family business was a little more than the old psyche could take this year. It picked up on the loneliness that I wrote about in Loneliness IQ and even detected the remnants of my old foe, depression.
I was surprised, however, that the testing instrument picked up on the one thing that defies most personality testing:
I am an introvert.
Not kind of an introvert.
An honest to God introvert.
Nearly every test I have ever taken, including several on the site, fails to account for my dual personality types. At work, I am driven, successful and laser sharp. Inside of this body deep in my soul, all I really desire is to be at home with my family and avoid social gatherings. Call it silly for a girl who is the graduate class know-it-all and former cheerleader, but I am a happy stay at home full time writer Mom, a mountain climber and super zip liner. Give me a golf outing on Lake Lure with the love of my life or the West Virginia scary as hell zip lining tour with BFF/soul sister Donna and I am a happy girl. Never going to an office with a deadline again might just appeal to the inner bookworm who is me.
Think your a combination of both sane and unsane? We all have our own types of multiple personalities. We develop social conditions and rules based on what we know of growing up in our culture, along with “professional” images and the perfect ideal of who you wish you were but really can/don’t want to be. Some people find that average Joe persona irksome; some not. I haven’t found a test that tells me I’m nuts for loving gravity defying zips and other such nonsense, but then I don’t really think that they rate adrenaline rushes as “mentally healthy.”
How do you feel about your “dual personalities?” Agree or disagree? How do you feel about typecasting? As an introvert, I still reserve the right to drive fast race karts, bungee, golf, bat, raft and even dive from perfectly good airplanes when the occasion arises. I love to climb, to be outdoors, and to love passionately and intensely, to experience new things and expand my mind/understanding. How does that appeal to you? Do you apply it in everyday life? Why? Why not? Good questions, all. Okay, maybe there is a little more than an introvert in here. I am an equal opportunity adventuress. Note to self: just recently had a battery of psych tests for graduate school. I am boringly normal.
Although the big gun battery MMPI isn’t one of them, there are a rash of tests available on the sight, most of which I took for fun. Here is what I have learned.
1. Personality Matters. Regardless of the test that you take, the overarching question is one that you ask yourself. Who are you? Start with a personality test or the sanity score and move on from there. I was interested to see the duality in my Sanity Score and my personality test. Often when I feel most isolated and alone, other perceive me as “the life of the party, fun and caring.” How often are you in dual situations when your public and private perceptions don’t mix?
2. Disorders may be lurking. Borderline Personality or BiPolar? Sex Addiction? Although neither of my scores indicated a disorder, there are indications that I am truly intense. This indicates to me that I’m under more stress than normal. Is stress important for people with a disorder? Yes. In people with a personality or AXIS II conditions, stress and lack of sleep trigger the bad effects of BiP2 and Borderline disorders. Many of these disorders are so much more manageable if you are aware that they’re manifesting in your life. The pharmaceuticals that treat a severe case of either disorder are quite different. However, like my more “life event” based stress, there are also conditions that respond well to antidepressants, therapy and reduction of stressors. I clicked on over to the blog section of www.psychcentral.com to find a really great article about how accepting loss and pain can heal you. It was pretty cool to have both the testing and the advice so close together.
3. Know Thyself. The site, where you can register confidentially and for free, also allows you the ability to span time and mood with the “Mood Tracker.” This self actualizing model might give you the bird eye view of how your feeling on a monthly, weekly or hourly basis if you’re really dedicated to be upfront with yourself. I recommend that if this interests you ~ I am fascinated ~ You can start with the free account and establish your own benchmark at Mood Tracker. It falls in with my life theory that you can’t see that label while you’re in the bottle. Hop into the self improvement mode and take yourself seriously.
So what is your sanity score? Is it what you were expecting? I plan to use the mood tracker over the next month as a guinea pig experiment of my own to take a glimpse of what I don’t see. The 13th century poet Rumi wrote in his work “The House Guest”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.
They may be clearing you out
For some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.