Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Click here for part two
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.
___ Do worries pop in and take over your mind like annoying little gnats?
___ Do you find something to worry about even when you know everything is OK?
___ Did you worry as a child?
___ Does your spouse (or person closest to you) tell you that you worry too much?
___ Do you find that worry clouds your judgment?
___ Do you dwell upon a time or times when you were unfairly sued, slandered, unexpectedly fired, downsized, or otherwise victimized by injustice?
___ Do you worry about your health in a way that you know (or others have told you) is excessive or irrational?
___ How often do you worry about money?
___ Are you very concerned with what others think of you?
___ Do you go over the same worry again and again?
___ When you are alone, is some degree of fear your resting state?
___ Are you inhibited and/or shy?
___ How much do you procrastinate?
___ How often do you feel that something bad is about to happen?
___ Do you avoid confrontations?
___ Are you insecure?
___ Are you alone more than you would like to be?
___ Do you find compliments and reassurance hard to take?
___ Do you feel that nobody knows the real you?
___ Do you wonder if someone is out to get you or take advantage of you?
___ Is it hard to shake off criticism even if you know the criticism isn’t accurate?
___ Do you fail to live up to the standards you set for yourself?
___ Do you lose perspective easily, worrying over some relatively minor matter as if it were a major concern?
___ 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?
___ Do you worry that good friends will turn on you?
___ Did you ever suffer physical, sexual or psychological abuse?
___ Did you have few secure attachments as a child, or was your childhood unstable?
___ Do you have symptoms of panic attacks, or symptoms of recurring, intense anxiety?
___ Do you have a family history (parents and/or grandparents) of depression?
___ Do you have any medical conditions that have been ascribed by your doctor, at least in part, to excessive worry?
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.