Are you a worrier?
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series.
Everyone worries from time to time, but to find out how severe a worrier you are, take the following quiz, adapted from Edward M. Hollowell’s book “Worry.” Give yourself 0 points if your answer is “rarely or not at all,” 1 point for “sometimes,” 2 points for “often,” and 3 points for “almost everyday.” The last five questions should be answered simply “yes” or “no,” with 3 points for each “yes” and 0 points for each “no.” Answer all the other questions on the 0-1-2 or 3 scale just described.
___ 1. Do worries pop in and take over your mind like annoying little gnats?
___ 2. Do you find something to worry about even when you know everything is OK?
___ 3. Did you worry as a child?
___ 4. Does your spouse (or person closest to you) tell you that you worry too much?
___ 5. Do you find that worry clouds your judgment?
___ 6. Do you dwell upon a time or times when you were unfairly sued, slandered, unexpectedly fired, downsized, or otherwise victimized by injustice?
___ 7. Do you worry about your health in a way that you know (or others have told you) is excessive or irrational?
___ 8. How often do you worry about money?
___ 9. Are you very concerned with what others think of you?
___ 10. Do you go over the same worry again and again?
___ 11. When you are alone, is some degree of fear your resting state?
___ 12. Are you inhibited and/or shy?
___ 13. How much do you procrastinate?
___ 14. How often do you feel that something bad is about to happen?
___ 15. Do you avoid confrontations?
___ 16. Are you insecure?
___ 17. Are you alone more than you would like to be?
___ 18. Do you find compliments and reassurance hard to take?
___ 19. Do you feel that nobody knows the real you?
___ 20. Do you wonder if someone is out to get you or take advantage of you?
___ 21. Is it hard to shake off criticism even if you know the criticism isn’t accurate?
___ 22. Do you fail to live up to the standards you set for yourself?
___ 23. Do you lose perspective easily, worrying over some relatively minor matter as if it were a major concern?
___ 24. Do you feel compelled to worry that something bad might happen out of an almost superstitious feeling that if you don’t worry about it the bad thing will happen, while if you do worry about it, your worrying might actually prevent it?
___ 25. Do you worry that good friends will turn on you?
___ 26. Did you ever suffer physical, sexual or psychological abuse?
___ 27. Did you have few secure attachments as a child, or was your childhood unstable?
___ 28. Do you have symptoms of panic attacks, or symptoms of recurring, intense anxiety?
___ 29. Do you have a family history (parents and/or grandparents) of depression?
___ 30. Do you have any medical conditions that have been ascribed by your doctor, at least in part, to excessive worry?
Scoring: 0-15: Low. You are not an excessive worrier. 16-45: Potential danger zone. You have some tendencies toward worry. 46-90: Danger zone. This much worry is not good for you physically, emotionally or spiritually, and it can impair your life.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at (303) 758-8777, or e-mail him from his website, heartrelationships.com.