Psychologically, people react differently to life situations, influenced by several factors, including genetic makeup and personal experiences. Belsky (2018) shows that a person is bound to experience different feelings in their lifetime, shaped by the situations they face. Anxiety can be defined as the feeling of worry, tension, and stress accompanied by bodily changes such as high blood pressure (Belsky, 2018). Although low levels of anxiety are accepted as a normal human response, increased anxiety may lead to a mental problems. According to Psychology Today (2021), over 20 million Americans suffer from anxiety problems. An anxiety test can help one to understand their risk of developing anxiety disorders.
Personal History of Anxiety
I chose the anxiety test on psychology today because I was interested in learning more about my anxiety level. Knowing the difference between normal anxiety and anxiety disorders is vital for effective treatment. I have always had a low anxiety level which runs in my family. Anxiety is connected to the ability to keep one’s feelings under control, something I always try to do. However, life situations differ, and sometimes, it becomes hard to control my emotions.
Stressful situations cause my heart to beat faster and create rumbles in my stomach. Luckily, I often manage to get my feelings in control and avoid developing an anxiety disorder. Stress management is made easier by my boyfriend, who also has a low anxiety level. Although I knew my anxiety level was low, I wanted to take the test to prove my theoretical knowledge and learn ways to address various anxiety levels. I believe that no one is self-sufficient; we need others to navigate life situations. I wanted to know how I could help others to deal with anxiety.
Questions That Stood Out
The anxiety test provided by Psychology Today entails answering several questions whose results are summed up to give the anxiety level. Many questions were straightforward, such as whether I concentrated on stressful situations. However, I was surprised by some questions that taught me the complexity of anxiety. These questions stood out because they represent new knowledge which is vital for anxiety management. One, I was required to comment on how often I had a dry mouth (Psychology Today, 2021). I have often associated a dry mouth with thirst, and I was shocked to learn that it is connected to anxiety.
The second question that stood out was the presence of digestive system problems, such as diarrhoea. I was surprised to learn that diarrhoea can be associated with anxiety, as shown by Psychology Today (2021). I have often suffered from diarrhea caused by eating food that had gone bad. I have always associated it with a stomach upset and other ailments, but never with anxiety. In my case, I noticed that when anxious, I would rarely poop, let alone diarrhoea. I was therefore excited to learn that sometimes people can have diarrhoea when worried and stressed about specific situations.
The question on futile, shaky feelings and ease of irritation also caught my attention. Although I knew that anxiety comes with unstable feelings, I never thought that those feelings were unfounded. For instance, I once felt angry at my friend for interfering with my study schedule, not knowing that I was just anxious about the upcoming exams. This question caught my attention because it helped me understand why I sometimes felt irritated, especially when expecting some major changes.
The three questions above ignited an inquisitive mind in me and caused me to conduct further research on the association of dry mouth, diarrhoea, and irritation on anxiety. While these questions made sense to me, I found that some other questions on the test were somehow confusing. For instance, I did not understand why they would include a question on hot and cold flashes (Psychology Today, 2021). Although many women experience cold and cold flashes, I believe they are associated with menopause and linked with several medical conditions.
Reaction to the Results
The test confirmed my assumptions; I have a low anxiety level. From my answers during the test, Psychology Today (2021) gave me an anxiety score of 30. This meant that although I had a few high-anxiety moments, my overall anxiety level was low. I was delighted to learn that my risk of developing anxiety disorder was low. Although I have always believed that my anxiety level is low, taking the test revealed some of the areas I have ignored. Therefore, I was expecting some level of anxiety higher than 30.
I agree with the results that my anxiety level does not warrant any serious concerns or medical attention. According to the analysis of the results done by Psychology Today (2021), I have existential anxiety. It demonstrates a general satisfaction with most situations in life. Belsky (2018) asserts that when one accepts that some circumstances are beyond their control, they may better control their emotions, consequently having low anxiety levels.
I confirm these arguments because I have always avoided getting stressed over situations. Although I confirmed my anxiety score and learned more of what it implies in my personal life, I wished to understand how the few high-anxiety moments could be handled. The anxiety test seemed to ignore some of the situations that could cause anxiety disorder. I hoped to understand how to manage those high-anxiety moments so as to maintain a low anxiety level throughout.
Analysis of Anxiety Test Results through Psychological Perspectives
When answering the anxiety test questions, I realized that my worries have changed with age. Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, which asserts that human personalities are influenced by existential challenges, is crucial for explaining the different anxieties over time (Belsky, 2018). Connecting this to my results, I have developed new perspectives of life, such as open communication in place of worry, that have lowered my anxiety level. Before the age of five, I would get worried over small things, and I mostly cried rather than speak them out. According to Erickson, human personalities continue developing past the age of five (Belsky, 2018).
This implies that character change and deviation in anxiety levels is a life-long process. I believe that as I grow and continue facing bigger challenges, the circumstances stressing me now will turn to normal life processes with little effect on my emotional and mental health.
Unit 2 Concept: Theory of Psychosocial Development
Throughout my life, I have encountered different challenges that have influenced my psychological development. According to Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, each stage has distinct features that influence a person’s development (Belsky, 2018). The first stage is characterized by trust vs. mistrust whereby a child entirely depends on the caregiver’s love and care. If a child fails to obtain love at this stage, they may develop high anxiety levels and fail in other life stages.
The second stage revolves around independence in the development of autonomy vs. shame (Belsky, 2018). If a child is given the freedom to explore life independently, they develop autonomy and eliminate doubt. Erikson’s third stage, initiative vs. guilt entails the ability to lead others and exercise authority. At this stage, a child who fails to acquire leadership skills feels guilty and lacks initiative.
In the early school years, children learn to interact socially and develop psychologically. Erikson’s fourth stage is characterized by industry vs. inferiority and determines how well a child accomplishes tasks and copes with social demands (Belsky, 2018). In adolescence, identity vs. role confusion characterizes an individual’s life, according to Erikson. The fifth stage mainly entails developing a sense of self-identity. Erikson’s sixth stage, intimacy vs. isolation, entails young adults’ social skills including developing healthy relationships. In this stage, anyone who fails to develop intimate relationships feels isolated. The seventh stage occurs in middle adulthood and entails generativity vs. stagnation (Belsky, 2018). At this stage, adults make important decisions such as career changes that shape their lives. The final stage is defined as integrity vs. despair, where individuals either derive joy from their accomplishments or regret as they face the fear of death.
I have successfully completed the first five stages of Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. In the first stage, parental support helped me develop trust and therefore lowered my anxiety level. In the second and third stages, autonomy, and initiative developed through exploration, made me confident gave me a sense of purpose in life, thereby lowering my anxiety. In the fourth stage, I did not take any leadership roles but was equally respected by my colleagues giving me a sense of confidence. My fifth stage was successful because I managed to acquire some close friends who have supported me in dealing with difficult situations, thereby lowering my anxiety levels.
Intimacy, in my sixth and current stage of development, has also played a crucial role in lowering my anxiety levels. Talking to my boyfriend whenever I am facing a challenge has always proved beneficial to my mental and emotional states. I, therefore, agree with Erickson that while people grow, the way they interact through sexual relationships, gain identity, and develop trust, they lower their anxiety levels.
Unit 3 Concept: Social Development in Relationships and Roles of Life
Social development and relationships play a crucial role in determining a person’s anxiety level. I have developed social skills that have made me a good friend, lover, and influencer in society. My relationship with my boyfriend has positively impacted me emotionally and mentally, leading to low anxiety levels. Erickson explains this situation by showing that existential issues such as autonomy, identity, trust, and individuality influence one’s psychosocial development (Belsky, 2018). Erickson held a different view from Freudian, who believed that these existential crises represent mere by-products of resolving sexual crises (Belsky, 2018). These results approve Erickson’s view by showing that existential crises are not mere coincidences of a development process but a significant agent of a person’s psychosocial development.
Unit 4: Theory of Dying
From a psychological perspective, death and its associated worries play a significant role in a person’s emotional and mental states, thereby influencing anxiety levels. According to Kubler-Ross, the theory of dying propose that a person’s fear of death can lead to a high level of anxiety (Belsky, 2018). These worries are mostly associated with terminal ailments and social situations that make one feel that they are about to die or view life as futile. This stage is described as middle-knowledge, where one is trapped between the imminent fear of death and life (Belsky, 2018). K As one would expect, death instills fear and worry in a person, raising their anxiety levels. Kubler-Ross identified five stages of the dying process: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Belsky, 2018). Denial and isolation is the first stage that entails a person’s response to news of their illness. After this, they move to the second stage where they become angry at God and society.
In the third stage, patients usually start bargaining and reconsidering their response to the illness. At this point, some people stop being angry and start engaging in value-adding activities before they get into the fourth stage of depression. In the fourth stage, individuals remember and mourn for all the losses they have incurred, including possessions and the love of family. In the last stage, people realize that they will eventually die and accept their fate. Connecting this to my anxiety test results, I have had a healthy life for a long time, reducing the worries of death. In addition, I have access to medical care and a healthy diet, enabling me to live a sustainable life. For these reasons, I have had no worries of death, and therefore, low anxiety levels.
In conclusion, anxiety is a normal feeling of fear and worry, which is common among all people. However, when the feeling becomes intense, a person may suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety contributes to a high proportion of mental challenges, accounting for the highest number of mental illnesses in the U.S. Taking the Anxiety test is a good way of evaluating one’s mental and emotional state to avert the risk of anxiety disorder. I took the anxiety test on Psychology Today and realized that my anxiety score is 30. I have a low anxiety level influenced by stress management strategies, social relationships, and family support.
Belsky, J. (2018). Experiencing the lifespan (5th ed.). Macmillan Higher Education.
Psychology Today. (2021). HTML Redirection. Psychtests. Web.