Sunday, 5 October 2008

Beware Of Online Tests!!!

This blog relates to what I was saying about depression in my last one, but also some critique I had of tests that pretend to be spiritual in nature. Well, yesterday I was trying to look up a medicine on the internet and came across a site that was called "Pshych..." something. Well, there were three tests there. I took the one that was supposed to determine whether you're depressed (so the name suggested).

I've taken those tests that pshychologists offer to determine if a person is depressed or not, and I liked them as little as I like any tests, as the questions tend to be suggestive and stereotypical. They always compare your present moment with your past, something which in my case seems totally absurd. Life is not necessarily like that, white one day and black the next! Some people suffer from dysthymia (mild chronic depression) or other forms of depression for all their lives, yet they get by. To them, a certain way of being may seem normal and it would definitely be hard to compare the past with the present unless there was a significant increase in dark thoughts and feelings. Some also suffer from SAD, seasonal affective disorder which is related to the lack of light in the winter. These tests really leave you no leeway. And this one was the same, but possibly less formal and definitely full of inexcusable spelling mistakes! Come on now, make an effort for goodness sakes!

So I filled out the points and got my results. Now I want to say that the results were somewhat hard to dechiffer, and might suggest that you need help to understand it. Indeed, there was an offer to recieve help from a "professional psychiatrist". I see. Well, it seemed that I suffer from some absolutely hair rising predicaments that would pretty much grant me a place at the funny house without many more questions asked. I also did a personality test and I believe that was the one that gave me a - hear now! - the diagnosis of what mental illness I suffer from! The thing that they claimed I "must" suffer from was... schizophrenia! I mean, when this dawned on me I was stunned. I am not kidding: this is as far from my issues that anything could possibly be. I could admit to some depression as life has been pretty tough for a long time and I have lost a lot of stamina from struggling hard to make it through so much adversity. Sadly, depression can certainly keep you in a state of negativity that prevents you from opening up to life, or life from opening up to you (depending on what your belief system is, I guess). On the other hand, good things happen to depressed people as well. To always go around with the torch of the law of attraction is an abomination.

So my most severe verdict was, schizophrenia. Maybe they wanted to get back to me (though I was apparently not paranoid, according to their criteria!!) because the first question was: "Do you like doing tests", and I said "no!".
There was something else too that I have no idea what it's supposed to represent, except that I am obviously a total social misfit and not really good for anything in this life. I suppose that this came up because I'm in a less sociable mode at the moment and not feeling terribly confident all the time about the future of my book. But come on!!! This is not a constant, so again it is hard to fill in a test that seems to expect you to stay in the same state of mind for long periods of time. Perhaps this is why I have "put ants in the heads" (as we say) of all the shrinks I've met. Only saying, that not all people are so easily categorized and that it's obvious that psychology is struggling to justify itself. But being given such terrible verdicts on such loose grounds is in my opinion an inexcusable and horrifying deed that should be punished by law. The interpretations offered were indeed scary! I got the feeling that nowadays, it's a given that a person suffers from at least ONE serious mental issue (haven't you noticed how every second seems to be at least bipolar, have ADHD or be seriously depressed? What does that say about society, eh?) Some people are, after all, impressionable. They may not suffer from schizophrenia or any other of the strange diagnoses that were listed, but they may start to fear that they do. So please, please, do not believe in these things! They are stupid, stupid!!! Be very careful who you listen to you and get as many opinions as you can. After all, your depression may actually only be a case of thyroid malfunction or the natural result of some hard times. "May you live in intersting times", as the Chinese say.

Artwork: "The Melancholy of Ambivalence", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2008

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