So we’ve unearthed something new to worry about: The Anxiety Test. This is a test that doctors use to assess whether someone is experiencing pathological levels of anxiety. In writing that I have suddenly realised that I never knew exactly what pathological meant until I looked it up 7 seconds ago. So, without wishing to patronise, it means compulsive, uncontrollable, unreasonable.
It is called the GAD-7 test and it is comprised of seven General Anxiety Disorder questions to which you must answer, “Not at all… several days… more than half the days… nearly every day…” And the questions are a variation on a theme of “Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge?” and “Worried something awful might happen?” And so I ask you, oh mighty GAD-7 test, where is the “Twice and hourly and more at 3am” box to tick?
I duly took the test and was instantly diagnosed with severe anxiety. If you are reading this then I respectfully declare that you will also be identified as severely anxious (take it here). Even the most relaxed of my friends and cohorts would hit the severe anxiety score. Even the ones already on Zoloft, Prozac, Cipralex, Xanax, you name it, would fall into the SEEK HELP category. Please note that the medicated have clearly already sought help.
This is the least nuanced, most basic form of questionnaire we’ve possibly ever seen and DOCTORS USE IT AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL? No wonder we’re stuck in the quicksand of worry. I mean, how often do you need to eat? Not at all? More than half days? Nearly every day? Honestly.