Apprehensive and Blue Behavior
If you were to follow a depressed or anxious person around, you might see some behavioral signs of their emotional turmoil. That’s because depression and anxiety on the inside affect what people do on the outside. For example, a depressed person may look tired, move slowly, or withdraw from friends and family; an anxious person may avoid socializing or have a trembling voice.
Take the quiz in Worksheet to see if your behavior indicates a problem with anxiety and/or depression. Check off each statement that applies to you.
The Distraught Behavior Quiz
❏ 1. I’ve been crying for no clear reason.
❏ 2. I pace around when I’m worried.
❏ 3. Sometimes I can’t make myself get out of bed.
❏ 4. I avoid going into crowded areas.
❏ 5. I can’t seem to make myself exercise.
❏ 6. I avoid risks because I’m afraid of failure.
❏ 7. I don’t do things for fun lately.
❏ 8. I always play things on the safe side.
❏ 9. I’ve been missing work lately because I just don’t have the motivation.
❏ 10. I’m really fidgety.
❏ 11. I’ve been doing everything at a much slower pace for no good reason.
❏ 12. I avoid people or places that remind me of a bad past experience.
❏ 13. I don’t care what I look like anymore.
❏ 14. I spend too much time making sure I look okay.
❏ 15. I don’t laugh anymore.
❏ 16. My hands shake when I’m nervous.
❏ 17. I’ve been letting things go that I need to attend to.
❏ 18. I feel compelled to repeat actions (such as hand washing, checking locks, arranging things in a certain way, and so on).
Again, there’s no pass or fail on this quiz. The more items you check, the greater the problem. Even-numbered items are most consistent with anxiety, and odd-numbered items largely indicate depression. And, of course, like many people, you may have symptoms of both types of problems.
Depression and anxiety inevitably produce physical symptoms. In fact, some people primarily suffer from changes in appetite, sleep, energy, or pain while reporting few problematic thoughts or behaviors. These symptoms directly affect your body, but they’re not as easily observed by other people as the behavioral signs covered in the preceding section. Signs of Anxiety and Take The Sad, Stressed Sensations Quiz in Worksheet to see if your body is trying to tell you something about your emotional state.
The Sad, Stressed Sensations Quiz
❏ 1. I have no appetite.
❏ 2. My palms sweat all the time.
❏ 3. I wake up too early each morning and can’t go back to sleep.
❏ 4. I’ve been experiencing a lot of nausea and diarrhea.
❏ 5. I’ve been sleeping a lot more than usual.
❏ 6. I feel shaky all over.
❏ 7. I’ve been having lots of aches and pains for no good reason.
❏ 8. When I’m nervous, my chest feels tight.
❏ 9. I have no energy lately.
❏ 10. My heart races when I’m tense.
❏ 11. I’ve been constipated a lot more often than usual.
❏ 12. I feel like I can’t catch my breath.
❏ 13. I’m eating all the time lately.
❏ 14. My hands are often cold and clammy.
❏ 15. I’ve lost my sex drive.
❏ 16. Sometimes I hyperventilate.
❏ 17. Every move I make takes more effort lately.
❏ 18. I get dizzy easily.
The symptoms in this quiz can also result from various physical illnesses, drugs in your medicine cabinet, or even your three-cup coffee fix in the morning. Be sure to consult your primary care physician if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms in The Sad, Stressed Sensations Quiz. It’s always a good idea to have a checkup once a year and more frequently if you experience noticeable changes in your body.
Although physical sensations overlap in anxiety and depression, even-numbered items in the quiz above are most consistent with anxiety, and the odd-numbered items usually plague those with depression. There’s no cutoff point for indicating a problem. The more statements you check off, though, the worse your problem.
Reflecting upon Relationships
When you’re feeling down or distressed for any length of time, odds are that your relationships with those around you will take a hit. Although you may think that your depression or anxiety affects only you, it impacts your friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and acquaintances.
Take the quiz in Worksheet to see if your emotions are causing trouble with your relationships. Check off any statements that apply to you.
The Conflicted Connections Quiz
❏ 1. I don’t feel like being with anybody.
❏ 2. I get very nervous when I meet new people.
❏ 3. I don’t feel like talking to anyone.
❏ 4. I’m overly sensitive when anyone criticizes me in the slightest way.
❏ 5. I’m more irritable with others than usual.
❏ 6. I worry about saying the wrong thing.
❏ 7. I don’t feel connected to anyone.
❏ 8. I worry about people leaving me.
❏ 9. I don’t feel like going out with anyone anymore.
❏ 10. I’m plagued by visions of people I care about getting hurt.
❏ 11. I’ve withdrawn from everyone.
❏ 12. I feel uptight in crowds, so I stay at home.
❏ 13. I feel numb around people.
❏ 14. I always feel uncomfortable in the spotlight.
❏ 15. I feel unworthy of friendship and love.
❏ 16. Compliments make me feel uneasy.
You guessed it; there’s no cutoff score here to tell you definitively whether or not you’re anxious or depressed. But the more items you check off, the more your relationships are suffering from your anxiety, depression, or both. Odd-numbered items usually indicate problems with depression, and even-numbered items particularly accompany anxious feelings.
Many people are a little shy or introverted. You may feel somewhat anxious meeting new people and may be uncomfortable in the spotlight — these feelings aren’t necessarily anything to be concerned about. However, such issues become problematic when you find yourself avoiding social activities or meeting new people because of your shyness.
(extracted from) Anxiety & Depression Workbook for Dummies by Charles H. Elliott, PhD and Laura L. Smith, PhD., Wiley Publishing, Inc.