Friday, February 1, 2013

Can't get me out of my head


From time to time, I've carelessly thrown around terms like 'autistic,' 'borderline-OCD' and 'insane' when describing this blog and my unnatural dedication to its upkeep, and I'm aware that this could devalue some of those genuine mental issues, so I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise for any offence caused. As I'm probably about to cause a whole lot more.

I've had an up-and-down life like most people. Things have mostly been good since I started travelling, as despite the occasional stress attack and mood swings precipitated by hassle in tourist areas or loneliness, I've been doing what I want, where I want and getting my own way most of the time. I won't say that travelling made me discover myself, I wouldn't do that to you.

But am I too content? When I can happily spend several days of my life hunting down filming locations for an obscure science fiction series or making a comprehensive catalogue of plagiarism, I sometimes wonder if this is healthy behaviour for a 27-year-old. It doesn't seem to be any worse than if I'd just wasted those days playing a video game, as doing anything creative is its own reward for me, but could it point to some underlying psychiatric issues that I've never had diagnosed?

The only way to find out is to take some extremely dubious psychological 'quizzes' from an outdated website and offer a candid insight into various facets of my mental health. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: These stats may mean absolutely nothing.

Before we dive in, here's a brain-based quiz of my own that I came up with when I was six years old. Take a look at these three characters:

After thorough scrutiny of that image, there can only be one reasonable question at the forefront of your mind, which is:

How many nuts could you fit in each of them? Answers at the end.



I've never really suspected that I have Attention Deficit Disorder, or whatever the 'H' in the other one stands for, I don't have the attention span to look it up. I find it hard to get round to doing useful, paid work sometimes if there are more entertaining prospects like day trips, blogs or YouTube to be getting on with, but once I get into it I don't have any problem mindlessly bashing out articles. I mean, carefully creating valuable resources that contribute to the internet's knowledge base. Whew, almost revealed the ridiculous and pointless nature of my livelihood there.



I don't generally feel anxious either, so I stormed through the diet version of this one too. An anxiety rating of absolute zero might be going too far though, there are usually a few things on my mind that keep me from being entirely relaxed, like immigration deadlines, booking hotels, Wi-Fi availability... I have to stop, it's making me anxious.



There we go then, I guess this over-zealous blog dedication and lack of empathy for what you people actually want to read isn't down to autism after all. Maybe I'm just a dick. My rating was some way off 'possible autism' in this non-thorough, unreliable test that reminded me on several occasions that it should not be taken as a diagnosis, but there were still some possible autistic traits that I concurred with wholeheartedly:


That's so on the money, it could be my epitaph.

Bipolar disorder


Finally we're getting somewhere, though like I said, the amount of faith I put in the accuracy of these predictions would fall towards the bottom end of the reliability scale. 0 - 9: Test is unreliable for purpose due to largely stupid questions. Maybe I'm just being grumpy because the mild psychological disorder that's being suggested for me isn't the one I wanted, but I'm still holding out hope for OCD.



So after being told I have 'mild depressive symptoms' in the previous one, they seem to have mostly vanished now. Things are going pretty well, thanks - I'm fairly confident that in the grander scheme of my life, I'm riding the high point between depressing times right now, between my occasional depressive feelings post-university and when starting work and the inevitable blues in a couple of years' time when I stop travelling and have to settle down because I accidentally got someone pregnant. That's a depressing thought.

Manic depression


In other words, do you have the thing we're trying to find out if you have? I didn't even proceed with this one, the laziness of that question made me so goddamn angry. Yet oddly tranquil at the same time. It's so depressing yet joyous, isn't it?

Eating disorder


I didn't think I had much to worry about here, I just wanted the comfort of being told something was okay. That sounds like a disorder in itself.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder


I demand a recount! Seriously, you're giving me a zero on the obsessive-compulsive front? Have you seen my website? Have you seen my other website? Have I misunderstood what OCD means all along? Clearly, based on these questions:


And I thought it was all about keeping your books neatly lined up on the shelf.



Another dismal failure. But how was I supposed to get anywhere if they're going to throw out ridiculous questions like this?


Are they slipping some sarcastic ones in there?



That's fair. I enjoy my own company, but how would I spend my income if there wasn't the occasional girl to demand I pay for their English studies and medical bills? (Does this site have a stinginess quiz?)



Well, that's a relief. Though if this is the defining characteristic of a psychopath:


This is definitely me.

Romantic attachment style


The second half veers into unreliable and generic horoscope territory, but overall this is probably accurate of where I am these days. I embrace feelings and don't hold anything back, but these usually fade over time as I find out we're not so compatible after all or I start to get a little bored, which I don't have the excuse of ADD for.

I wouldn't have recognised this person as me before I started travelling, when I always thought I was looking for the right person or nothing at all (though even when I found her, I couldn't hold it together for more than six months, I'm still not sure why). But if I don't like to stay in the same country for more than a couple of months at a time, this doesn't lend itself to serious relationships.

I've been lucky enough to know girls that understood this, even if it wasn't what they wanted out of a relationship themselves. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings and I always make sure we both understand the situation from the onset so neither of us is disappointed, but then the demands start coming and push me away. I do like to have a partner I can travel with or just spend time with and get to know when I'm in her country, it's not like I only think about sex or something.

Sexual addiction


What the...? I think they got the test results mixed up in the post. That happens sometimes, right? How can this be me? To put it in context, I was single when I completed it, so I guess I wasn't exactly on an even keel. Though I am, regrettably, a slightly dirtier person than I was a few years ago. In Edinburgh I was practically a monk.


However mildly depraved I may be, I can say with all honesty that I do not do that. Was this website somehow created before the advent of the internet?

Internet addiction


Of all the unreliable faux-psychological predictions I've seen today, I have a feeling this one's the most pertinent. Though I still have some way to go before you can write me off as a complete screwball who answers questions like this in the affirmative:


I'd suggest 'never' and 'rarely' should be separate categories, as there's quite a gulf between starting to think like this and being normal.

Psychic hotlines addiction


Call me psychic, but I had a feeling you were going to say that.


Did you get it right, kids? I hope you didn't fall into the trap of using things like logic or maths. This alone could have been useful for diagnosing my slight mental instability at a young age, as could this other excerpt from Doctor Disguise Book 4, which I poorly animated and set to psychedelic music for my old blog on the off chance I'd ever get high:

My favourite part is when Doctor Disguise sees the entrance to the cryptic 'C.J.B. Land' and somehow knows this stands for 'Chris, John, Ben Land.' What does that mean? What does any of this mean? At least I never have to worry about losing my mind, I clearly never had one to lose.


  1. I was going to completely copy this, but there's too many quizzes for me to bother with. What does that say about me?

    1. That you need to dedicate more time to being bored and lonely with an internet connection.