Are You Going to Crack Up?
She was a fashionably dressed, rather fidgety woman who perched on the edge of a chair as though ready to jump up at any moment. A quick glance at her examination record showed that she was forty two, married sixteen years, and had been recommended by a former patient.
“My friend Doris insisted I come here. She swears by your vitamin diet treatments, but her case was simple compared to mine. I want to know where I stand before I go through the rigamarole of tests.”
Mrs. L. paused for breath, then confessed that she lived in fear of suffering from an emotional breakdown someday.
“I’ve gone through so much. My father died when I was a baby, and my mother remarried an alcoholic who always took his drunken rages out on me. Since mom worked all the time to keep us kids fed, she was never around when I really needed her. Ive always been nervous and insecure, but with such a childhood, what can you expect?”
We could see that Mrs. L. was voicing long term concerns and that there would be more to her story. But before she continued, we had her fill out a brief questionnaire to help determine the possibility of an imminent emotional disorder. Try the questions she answered on yourself.
Have you recently:
1. been unable to concentrate on whatever you’re doIng?
2. lost much sleep from worrying?
3. felt that you are not playing a useful part In things?
4. felt that you are not able to make decisions about things?
5. felt constantly under strain?
6. felt that you couldn’t overcome your difficulties?
7. been unable to enjoy your day to day activities?
8. been unable to face up to your problems?
9. been feeling unhappy and depressed?
10. been losing confidence in yourself?
11. been thinking of yourself as a worthless person?
12. found you cannot keep yourself busy and occupied?
13. been staying in the house more than usual?
14. been feeling on the whole that you were not doing things well?
15. been dissatisfied with the way you’ve carried out your tasks?
16. been taking things too hard?
17. found everything getting to be too much for you?
18. been feeling nervous and hung up all the time?
19. found at times you couldn’t do anything because your nerves were too bad?
20. been having restless, disturbed nights?
21. not been managing as well as most people in your place?
22. felt less warmth and affection for those near to you?
23. been finding it difficult to get along with other people?
24. spent much less time talking to people?
25. been finding life a struggle all the time?
26. been getting scared or panicky for no good reason?
27. felt that life is entirely hopeless?
28. been discouraged about your own future?
29. felt that life isn’t worth living?
If, like Mrs. L., you answered yes to several of the 29 questions, you may have an emotional illness lurking just below the surface.