Online Personality Test

I’ve taken this test before and scored very differently so I don’t know what to think of these results:

Disorder Rating
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Moderate
Schizoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Moderate
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Moderate
Borderline Personality Disorder: Very High
Histrionic Personality Disorder: High
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Moderate
Avoidant Personality Disorder: Moderate
Dependent Personality Disorder: Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: High

Take the Personality Disorder Test
Personality Disorder Info

After talking with my therapist, I’m probably not borderline, even though this test seems to think I am. I answered a couple of questions that I probably shouldn’t have answered the way I did, but oh well. I think part of the problem with this test for bipolars is that bipolar symptoms and borderline symptoms often overlap. So, it could be that my answers relate to being bipolar and not borderline. Or maybe I really am borderline, who the hell knows?

Let’s look at Histrionic Personality Disorder:

Quick Summary:

People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. Histrionics also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.(sic)

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder:

Needs to be the center of attention
Dresses or acts provocatively
Rapidly-shifting and shallow emotions
Exaggerates friendships
Overly-dramatic, occassionally theatrical speech
easily influenced; highly suggestible

Wow. Doesn’t that sound like mania to you? I know it does to me.

I’m also really baffled by the Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Schizotypical ratings. (I’ve taken this test before and scored low in these areas – see below.) The descriptions of these disorders – you can follow the link to any of these disorders above – seem to either have nothing to do with my base personality or relate to how I feel when I’m manic. Am I manic now? No, not at the moment, but if you take the test, you will note there are words like ever and occasionally, and other misleading terms. I might occasionally dress provocatively, because I’m manic or maybe I’m just feeling a little feisty and I want to look hot for my husband. I would still answer yes to the question, but it would give the wrong impression to the test. “Do you have trouble not taking criticism personally?” The double negative in this makes me so confused that I’m not sure how to answer the question.

Now, I took the test a second time and got answers more similar to what I have gotten in the past. What I did differently is to eliminate anything that corresponds to mania. Where I might have answered yes to something because yes, this happens when I’m manic, I answered no this time because this is not my normal mode of thinking. Here is my second set of results.

Disorder Rating
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Moderate
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Low
Borderline Personality Disorder: Low
Histrionic Personality Disorder: High
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Low
Avoidant Personality Disorder: Moderate
Dependent Personality Disorder: Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: High

Take the Personality Disorder Test
Personality Disorder Info

Note how different these results are. Yes, I have issues, and I will easily own up to dependent and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I am still baffled by histrionic and schizotypical but maybe there is some truth in there that I’m not seeing in myself. I’ll also own up to avoidant because there are many times when I will avoid things, people, and/or situations in order to not deal with them. I don’t think I’m socially inept, but I do feel a little intimidated at parties, especially if I don’t know anyone. Or not. Sometimes I am quite the social butterfly. Really, it all depends on my mood.

I guess what I am getting at with all of this is don’t take these online tests too seriously. If you think you have one of these personality disorders, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Only a trained medical professional can diagnose you properly, and even then they don’t always get it right.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Fight Stigma!

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Here we are 22 years later and it’s still not acceptable to call into work as a sick day due to depression or other mental illness.  What happens if you tell your employer that you suffer from mental illness?  If you’re like me, you will lose your job.  Wait, that’s illegal!  Not if you work for a small company.  Check the fine print before you accept a job offer.

Some statistics for you to chew on…

Anxiety: 18% of the adult U.S. population, 23% of these cases are considered severe.  Women are 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety than men during their lifetime. (This includes Agoraphobia, GAD, OCD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social and other phobias)

Bipolar:  2.6% of the adult U.S. population, nearly 83% of them are considered severe cases.

Major Depressive Disorder: At any given time, this affects about 7% of the population, but when looking at lifetime prevalence, this increases to 16.5%.  Women are 70% more likely to suffer depression than men, and when looking at age groups, young and middle aged adults are most likely to be sufferers as compared to those over the age of 60.

Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.6% of the U.S. adult population.

Schizophrenia: 1.1% of the U.S. adult population.

I have selected to give you statistics for only a few of the major mental health issues.  Many more statistics can be found on the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml

While these numbers may seem small, these illnesses affect millions of people.  Millions of individuals with families, jobs, and responsibilities that can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with while suffering from an illness.  For some people, illnesses are comorbid (occurring together) but this doesn’t make the numbers less formidable.  For example, anxiety and depression often go together, which makes coping extremely difficult.

Although Mental Illness Awareness week is at a close, I hope you will keep in mind some of these statistics.  For those of you who are sufferers, you are not alone.  For those of you who are friends or family of someone with a mental health disorder, we appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.  For those of you who are neither… please join us in the battle against stigma.  Together we can make the world a kinder place.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Cost of Mental Health

I’ve written a post on the costs of mental health on A Canvas of the Minds WordPress blog, which is a multi-author blog about mental illness. I can’t figure out how to reblog the post here, so you’ll just have to go over there to read it. Sorry about that, but there are lots of other really cool posts for you to check out while you are there. 🙂

The Cost of Mental Health.

Enjoy!

-MM

Chapter Read and Lesson Learned

The title of this post was actually snagged from a line in the Barenaked Ladies song, “Who Needs Sleep?”  It’s just one line, but a very powerful line that takes on a different context in the song than how I am using it.  For me, this marks the end of my dalliance with a high-paying job.

It’s been a week since I last wrote.  I couldn’t bring myself to write about work and unemployment last week.  Things were still too raw.  At times, I am still stumped about the whole thing.  I feel like I should be more angry or sad than I am.  I simply feel resigned to my fate.  Mix in a little terror and self-deprecation when I think of my situation and the lack of funds that will be coming in.  Basically, I’ve been spoiled while out on medical leave.  Sure I had a lot of healing to do, but I didn’t worry about not being able to pay my bills.

Chapter Read refers to an ending, the ending of my employment.  Part of me is dying to work, to earn money, to be useful.  Another part of me never wants to work again.  Mostly, I just don’t know what I want to do with my life.  It was pointed out to me once that my resume looks like someone who spends a lot of time running away from things.  Is that true?  I am an expert in one specific field, a high-paying field, if you can get the work.  If the job isn’t taken over by a bachelor’s degree technician.  How could they possibly know what I know?  Probably fairly easily. (Or am I being self-deprecating again?) I’ve been overeducated and probably forgotten more than I ever knew in the first place.  You hire a PhD to run the lab, to take care of the helium tanks, track the standards and chemicals… yuck.  All the things I hate about working in a lab.  But all my experience puts me in a lab with a (hopefully high-paying) yet utterly boring job containing droplets of excitement when you happen to work in collaboration on something that is patentable or publishable.  That is, if your work isn’t being questioned or stolen.  What’s the point of being good at something if everyone thinks you suck?  Or thinks your opinion is worthless?  Or questions your conclusions?  Maybe I am better off with this chapter closed, but what will the next one bring?

Lesson Learned refers to what I’ve learned from this job.  Money is awesome but it’s not everything.  Right now, I am unemployed with limited funds, thus once again, I must take what I can find, be it industry or academia.  What I learned from this job is that after the original “honeymoon phase” where I am learning and being challenged, this job is downright boring.  And when I get bored, I get lazy or I watch how others work, and some part of my brain thinks it’s OK to do X or not do Y if other people are doing X or not doing Y.

For example, I watched as lazy Dr. B (short for Dr. Bastard) get away with everything.  He swears he has something in his personnel file that says he shalt not be fired.  Who knows? Maybe he does.  He must have done something valuable for the company at some point because they let him get away with all sorts of things that no one else can.  He would stroll in at 10am. He would leave at 6pm.  (Core hours are 9am-3pm.)  Sure we are salaried and have flex time, but you were expected to be on site for 8.5 hrs a day, excluding lunch. He would ramble all day long to anyone who would listen – not getting an ounce of work done.  He brags about how great he is and how the company has wronged him.  His stories are 20 years old, yet he tells them like it happened yesterday.  He brags about how he got his revenge on people by getting them fired.  (And now I am one of them.)  He is mean to people who report to him or work with him if they don’t do exactly as he wants.  He is insulting to anyone he doesn’t like.  He is bigoted and reeks of harassment.  But the company thinks he is some sort of god in the field and that they can’t part with him.  Not everyone does, but enough people to keep him around.  Some people see him for what he truly is:  a narcissistic ass who is not always right (scientifically) even though he is trying to BS you into thinking that he is.

My other lesson learned is that I need to admit when I need help.  I needed to have this surgery a year earlier.  I needed mental health help a year earlier.  I went through hell because I didn’t seek the help I needed.  I thought I could control my bipolar, my OCD, my PTSD all through sheer willpower.  It’s taking me 5 prescription drugs a day to control all that and still I have to contend with symptoms from my mental health problems.  I need to have a psychiatrist.  I need to have a therapist.  I need healthcare coverage.  I am jealous of people who can get away without coverage or who just need the bare minimum or people who only have to take two or three pills a day.  I have in total 11 prescription medications per day and I am barely into my forties.  I have to learn to admit that sometimes I need help.  I am too damn stubborn for my own good.

So where do I go from here?  Without my six figure income, how do I live?  How do I get to travel?  Take my photographs?  Do the things I enjoy?  How did I ever survive on $40k/year?  For starters, I didn’t have a 4 bedroom home with a formal dining room.  I didn’t get to travel.  I didn’t have an iPhone, an iPad and an iMac.  I didn’t eat out that much.  I thought a little bit more about what I spent money on.  I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on steel swords for renaissance costumes.  We didn’t have an Xbox or a Wii or a flat screen TV.  I certainly didn’t have this many pairs of shoes.  We never remodeled the house and I didn’t have nearly  the wardrobe I have now.  (Some of which I no longer fit into – thank you meds.)  Still, I am at a loss.  I don’t know where to go from here.  My mortgage is too high.  I have too much junk.  This house is turning into a money pit.

Some days I am good – I can handle the stress, focus on the tasks ahead, and move forward.  But always in the back in of my mind is: Where are you going?  You aren’t going anywhere.  You spin your wheels wandering from job to job.  Sometimes making money, sometimes not.  Always banging your head on some wall.  Always allowing your illness(es) to encroach on your life.  Mania or depression coloring your view, affecting your productivity. Like a hamster on a wheel, I am forced into running through these cycles, never getting anywhere.  I never get a productive hypomania like other people do.  I’m either constantly distracted, fidgety, talkative and flighty, or touchy, angry, and easily set-off.  My depressions are laden with anxiety, sadness, and a lack of energy and focus.  How the hell did I get through school???

Well, there’s my emotional core dump.  (For now.)  Where do I go from here?  That is the biggest question on my mind.  Everything else is details.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas: Happy and Sad

Depression has been creeping back into my life.  It was at dysthymia for a while and I thought I could ride it out, but that is apparently not to be.  Even my OCD is coming back.  I snapped off my husband’s head one night because he wanted to go into The Room.  The problem is that The Room contains all of our Christmas wrapping stuff.  Argh.

Back to the topic at hand…

Christmas is a time of year that I normally enjoy, albeit sometimes with a little melancholy.  We are never surrounded by family.  My family is a scattered mess of psychological disorders and most of the individuals are toxic people.  The exception is my youngest niece.  She is a sweet young woman who is so much like me that we could be mother & daughter. Right down to the bipolar, but with a little schizophrenia thrown in for good measure.  Despite that, she is still highly functioning, graduating with an A.S. and a near 4.0 GPA.  She is looking at 4-year schools right now.  Anyway, the happy part is that my niece is coming to visit and I am really looking forward to her trip.  We have lots of exciting things to planned for her trip. (Art museums, the Zoo, etc.)

As to the sad part… DH will be with his family and not with us for Christmas. We had already committed to my niece’s visit when his mom invited us.  She is disappointed that I’m not coming too.  It’s the last Christmas in the house that DH grew up in because his mom is selling it.  This will be the first time in 15 years that DH and I will be separate at Christmas.  It hardly feels like we’ve been together that long but yet he’s a stead-fast piece of my life.  I would be lost without him.  I can’t imagine what Christmas will be like without him.  Basically, we will just try to keep ourselves occupied with fun stuff.  We’ll probably go to the zoo without him and we will spend Christmas day with a close friend of mine.  Usually DH & I spend Christmas with this friend and her husband, but my niece is welcome too, so that should be fun – at least it will be a busy day.

I still have mixed feelings about it all.  I understand why he is going (Christmas Conundrum) and that he feels it is a family obligation.  I know I’m not being shunned by his family because my mother-in-law is sad I can’t make it.  DH’s brother and his girlfriend are disappointed too.  But I’m still sad that he will be there and we will be here.  Heck, it would have great if we all could be there!  (We are giving our nephew the coolest thing for Christmas.)  But this is just another wave to ride, I guess.  A test of my endurance.  There will be other Christmases… the important thing is to enjoy what we have now.

Speaking of which – I’ve got to go to the airport!