i especially dont like tests and questionnaires which have been given to me when it comes to my mental state. "on a this scale from 0 to 4, with zero being 'never' and 4 being 'oh god, oh god, my brain is about to implode' how often do you feel inadequate or useless."
ive never liked these segregated categories. as ive said in a previous post, depression affects people in different ways. something that may be a 4 for one person can be a big fat 0 for someone else. i understand why these tests are run, but when there is as much variation between people as there is when it comes to depression, categorizing into 5 pre-selected groups just doesnt seem to work.
one example that immediately springs to mind for me is "how often do you feel comfortable going out to places you are familiar with" (or words to that effect. i cant remember the exact question. sorry about that)
well, mr or mrs test author person, i can tell you now that that is one of the things that varies a hell of a lot for me! today i could be ok going down to tescos to look at dvds and see if sanjeep is there buying a shitload of cola. but tomorow i may be having a rough day and dont want to leave the house because going outside is scaring the shit out of me on that particular day
the answers to these questions that are given to me can vary from day to day. hell, they can vary from hour to hour and minute to minute depending on whats going on. im not very good with dealing with the unexpected, so one minute i could seem fine, the next im a trembling wreck! 3rd parties- be they friends, family or random people in a shop or on the phone can greatly affect how im feeling, both in a positive and negative manner. its almost impossible to accurately say how im feeling "today" because how im feeling can on a particular day can have more ups and downs than a fat kid on a trampoline!
i will point out however that sometimes these questionnaires ask for an answer that is in an expanded time frame, e.g."in the past 2 weeks have you thought about harming yourself or ending your own life?" (just so you know, the answer to that one is no. thats a good thing) with these questions ive always found it a lot harder to answer. my mood and how im feeling can vary a HUGE amount in the course of two weeks. ups, downs, lefts, rights, curve balls, sudden occurrences, unexpected incidents can all affect my overall mood. its a total bitch. i guess the best thing to do for these answers is try and say "after everything that has happened this past fortnight how do i feel about it all?" then answer. that is what i do at least
ive always thought that tests are a difficult way for people to show how they are feeling or coping with certain situations. its very difficult to label how you feel when you cant give your own answer and have to use one of the answers given to you by the question. the best thing to do is just to try and find the answer closest to how you feel. on the plus side of things sometimes whoever is asking you to do the question (in my case it has been counsellors or people from different programs i have attended to try and help me improve) will fill in the answers for you; they ask how you're doing and let you explain how and why you feel like you do. they then say "well, shall we put down 'this answer' then and you can say yes or no.
people like that are a good source of support for when filling in question sheets relating to your mental state. its good knowing that some of the people i talk to about things will take the time to let you answer and then offer their opinion as what category to put. "you've said you feel ####### so shall we put # down as your answer as i think its the closest to how you're doing"
thats a good thing. its nice knowing that people who's job it is to help you actually do want to help and arent doing it just for a pay cheque.