Self-Administered Test on Anxiety, Phobia and Depression
Dr Abe V Rotor
1. All of us are invariably victims of anxiety: our aging parents, retirement benefits, sex life, health – name it, real or imaginary – and you have it, irrespective of sex, age, domicile, profession, work, race, creed, etc.
Sigmund Freud, father of psychology
2. There is something mysterious about anxiety, its dualism. It is a normal response to physical danger so that it can be a useful tool for focusing the mind where there’s a deadline looming. But anxiety can become a problem when it persists too long beyond the immediate threat, which leads to depression.
3. While we worry for certain things and situations, other people simply don’t - they simply don’t care.
4. People who are mediocre – more so, if they did not reach higher education – are more subject to anxiety than intelligent and highly learned people.
5. Uneasiness, lightheadedness, clumsiness are the first signs of anxiety. Sweaty and cold palms and feet may be due to nervousness which is a natural reaction.
6. According to Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross the sequential stages of grief, called grief cycle, follow the following stage in proper sequence: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance.
7. This grief cycle, theoretically is based on observation of people who are dying, not on scientific research into the experiences of people who have survived the death of a loved one. This model is questioned by researchers on bereavement.
8. It is often that at the stage of acceptance, the victim rises to a “second life” – a resolution to make up for life, to do the best things in the remaining years of life – living for a cause one he believes in.
9. Inconsolable grief also called prolonged grief is differentiated from normal grief. Normal grief typically involves a range of transient behavioral and emotional responses which can be overcome.
10. Deaths such as suicides, murders, accidents, and other sudden and unexpected deaths can result in complicated grief due to the sudden shock.
11. While death of a parent may be unbearably devastating, so with a child, the death of a spouse is still perhaps one of the most intense forms of grief.
12. A very young child under one or two has no reaction is a carer dies – it is too early for the child to realize the event and consequences.
13. Siblings who have been part of each other’s lives since birth help form and sustain the other’s identities; with the death of one sibling comes the loss of that part of the survivor’s identity.
14. Nausea, panic, fears of losing control or dying are advanced signs and symptoms of anxiety, including dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain, but many of these are psychosomatic symptoms.
15. Many of the things we worry about are baseless, if not nonsense.
16. Animals appear to feel anxiety – an instinctive response necessary for survival.
17. Rats and chicken freeze in place momentarily when subjected to sudden fear stimulus. The opossum feigns dead which is actually an involuntary fear response.
18. Anxiety helped in human evolution. Records of anxiety show how humans shared the planet with saber-toothed tigers. Without it few of us would have survive, if at all.
19. FFF (Fight, Flight, Fright) - the adrenaline shoots into the muscles preparing the body to do the appropriate action.
20. Mass anxiety humans suffered during the two world wars was revived by terrorism which attacked the Twin Towers of New York.
21. Overcoming the possibility of becoming victim to depression, start helping yourself. First, examine your feelings and determine what is troubling you. The discuss problems with the people involved or with an understanding friend. Change your normal routine, Exercise to work off tension, and avoid known stressors.
22. The best thing one can do to help a depressed friend is to seek for him professional help. You can be held responsible for anything that may put him into deeper problems – or trouble.
23. Taking examination is one major cause of anxiety. This when taking an exam, prepare well in advance, know time and place, plan you approach, ask for clarification, relax and pay attention to the test.
24. In taking an exam, don’t survey the test questions immediately – you will freeze if your expectation didn’t come true. Answer as you go on.
25. When taking multiple choice, read each option as true or false question. Consider answers which make the statements true without exception. Eliminate answers which are false in some instances.
Answers: 1t, 2t, 3t, 4f, 5t, 6f (Anger comes ahead of bargaining), 7t, 8t (Second life is often the crowning glory of great men and women) , 9t, 10t, 11f, f, 13t (Siblings who play a major part in each other lives are essential to each other.) , 14t, 15t, 16t, 17,t, 18t, 19t, 20t, 21t, 22f (Do your part – be kind, show concern, understanding, assurance), 23t, 24f, and 25t.
Rating: 24-25 outstanding; 21-23 Very Good; 17-20 Good; 13-16 Pass; 12 and Below - listen to DZRB 738 KHz AM, 8 to 9 in the evening Monday to Friday.
Reference: The Science of Anxiety Time 39 to 47 pp July 8, 2002
Lost Lives Time November 10, 2003
What Scares you? Phobias Time April 2, 2001