About a month ago I had a series of psychological tests done. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while since my therapist and I started discussing it. Honestly, I didn’t even know there were tests, let alone how many there are! This will be a longer post, but I hope it’s helpful for anyone else looking into testing for some clearer answers to any struggles or just curious about it. I had no idea what to expect so I want to share!
Tests I took
- The Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory- Second Edition, Revised Form (MMPI-2-RF)
- Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Third Edition (MCMI-III)
- Conner’s’ Behavior Rating Scale, Parent Form (CBRS)
- Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
- Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II)
- Sentence Completion Test, Adult Form Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- Gilliam Asperger’s Disorder Scale/Autism Spectrum Disorder Questionnaire
- Behavioral Observation
- Clinical Interview
I will say off the bat, it did not feel like I took this many tests. I didn’t even know all of the tests since I felt like I was only doing a few things, but wow do the results seem accurate for me!
What was it like?
I don’t know exactly which test was which – but it started out with two different questionnaires on the computer – probably 350 questions total. I believe this included the WRIT, BAI, BDI-II, and maybe more. Surprisingly – they only took about an hour. Some questions here or there didn’t mean anything as it was more of a way to make sure I was paying attention.
After that, I did a test where I had to complete sentences/ideas or describe things. I would be given a word and I had to keep describing it until I was told it was enough. Another example was basically naming synonyms for things too.
Then, I had to look at pictures of patterns and then pick the option that would complete the pattern.
Next, I had to look at more patterns of colors blocks, and I was given physical pieces to create and match the picture.
Another test I would be shown a black and white photograph of a person or people and I had to make up a story about it. To me a lot of them looked pretty sad, I think I only had one or two stories that were on the happy side.
I thought I would be talking a bit more like I do in therapy, but testing is different. I really only did some more talking similar to therapy when I was clarifying some things.
My mom also filled out a couple of forms concerning my prenatal development and family history.
I thought this testing was mainly going to focus on if I had PTSD or not, concerning my father’s suicide when I was 12, but this testing gave me insight into a lot more than I thought it would.
“Behavioral Observations, Clinical Interviewing, and psychological testing have led to the following DSM-5 diagnostic classifications:
- (F34.0) Cyclothymic Disorder
- (F43.9) Unspecified Trauma and Stressor Related Disorder
- (F41.1) Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- (F42.4) Excoriation (Skin picking) Disorder
- (F10.99) Unspecified Alcohol Related Disorder
- Provisional (F60.5) – Dependent Personality Disorder with Histrionic Personality Traits, Depressive Personality Traits, and Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Features”
So, what is Cyclothymic Disorder? I had no clue either, but now it makes sense. It was described to me as baby bipolar, in laymen’s terms. It is a mood disorder where your mood shifts similar to bipolar, but not as drastic. And WOW does that check out to me. Sometimes I feel like I am in the best mood and beyond happy and nothing is wrong at all, and other days I question everything I am doing and can’t figure out why I feel so lethargic and unmotivated.
This also checks out why the couple SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, aka anti-depressants) didn’t do anything for me. People with bipolar or other mood disorders benefit from mood stabilizers which work in a different way, again in laymen’s terms, they bring people towards the middle vs. bringing them up. If someone with a mood disorder is taking a SSRI and they’re already in one of their “higher” moods, it can cause mania. So something for me to look into now since I know what medicine may work for me better if I want to try one again.
Turns out, no PTSD for me. However, Unspecified Trauma or Stress Related disorder is pretty damn close. Any time something is “unspecified” it really just means I missed a mark or two for the actual diagnosis.
I won’t get into all of my different triggers (literally anything that has to do with happy parents and children, I’m a wreck) but my therapist thinks it’s pretty evident I have not dealt with my father’s death yet and is underlying for a number of these things I’m going through.
In my other posts I’ve discussed my anxiety and excoriation (also known as dermatillomania, skin picking) so I won’t go much into that either. It is a definite 24/7 struggle with the picking though, which sucks. My therapist and I actually laughed because out of all of the things listed, we were kind of shocked OCD wasn’t. But, yay? Although I definitely have those traits and excoriation stems from it.
Unspecified Alcohol Related Disorder – not shocked one bit. I have family history on both sides, my dad was an alcoholic too (before I was born, he was sober my whole life). I started drinking and smoking pretty young (not too uncommon for a lot of kids at my school) at 13/14 years old, by 15/16 I was black out drunk every weekend. A lot of times it was my goal. I got myself into terrible situations and I’m really lucky, sometimes I think my dad was watching out for me to make sure I got through it. Even up until this past year I was blacking out at least once or twice a month, unintentionally, but it always happened and I started really hating myself for it and thought, maybe I really don’t have control because I lose it even when I’m trying really hard. Since I got my puppy two months ago, I have not blacked out and she’s made my life so much better in many ways, when she isn’t stressing me out too! Anyways, before I got her I was trying to count how many drinks I had and sometimes I would still just stop and lose it. It’s a big accomplishment for me if I can go a weekend without drinking. I guess it’s a coping mechanism, so I’ve been told. I’m still unsure all of the factors.
So the bottom row (Provisional (F60.5) – Dependent Personality Disorder with Histrionic Personality Traits, Depressive Personality Traits, and Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Features) – this does not mean I am diagnosed with these. Provisional means I am showing signs with these or at least some of the symptoms.
I definitely have abandonment issues, so the dependent personality disorder is also not surprising to me. I hate being alone. I hate not having plans. I did not know what histrionic personality traits were, but it is basically having intense, unstable emotions and distorted self-images. People with this rely on other’s approvals for their own self-esteem vs from themselves. There’s an overwhelming desire to be noticed and often behave dramatically. HELLO. Another check. It kills me if I know someone doesn’t like me. I hate conflict. I always want to impress people and do my best. It’s like I’m not doing my best for myself, but for others. Another thing I am working on.
I already knew I had depressive personality traits, but the negativistic /passive aggressive one kind of caught me off guard at first since I don’t think I’m that passive aggressive with people, but I am definitely negative a lot.
If you know me, some of these may not seem true to who I am. I’ve always been the super outgoing, positive, smiling, funny person in the group. It’s because I want the people around me to be happy. I want everyone to be happy. I want to bring you that happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I do love people and I am extremely social, but this isn’t too surprising to me now since I can now acknowledge the fact a lot of what I do is essentially for approval.
I know, this was long. I hope if anyone is considering taking some psychological testing and has the means to do so, I highly recommend. I’m ready to keep going on this journey and be the best version of myself, for me.