I am tearful listening to and watching Scandal portray trauma and victims of trauma as weak and vulnerable and easily manipulated. Trauma can cripple but trauma exposure can also make us stronger. Not everyone has to stay a “victim.” Not every survivor is a wounded, weak, easily manipulated person changed by time and experience. There is so much research that trauma changes our brains and our ability to function but doesn’t always make us weak and easily manipulated. Trauma is an event that challenges our spirit and our definition of ourselves. It shapes our minds and shifts our core. But it can also make us compassionate, intuitive, and deeply passionate. Our minds can be sharp and strong. Empower survivors. Encourage survivors, uplift them for they have faced what so many cannot fathom. Not to be distorted by media or manipulated for entertainment but celebrated in life and and the thriving that can come from surviving.
A friend asked me to check out the website What’s My M3 and I did. It is an online screening tool for mood and anxiety disorders. The test is called the M3. Please note that this is test is not a diagnostic tool. Rather is it a measure of symptoms that collective can provide information and knowledge about a person’s diagnosis. It has not been standardized by gender or age group or culture.
All that said what do I think…
FIRST WHAT DO I LIKE: It was quick and easy to take and liked how it explained the results immediately. It is a printable measure that a client new to therapy or curious about their mental health can take with them and share with their doctor or therapist. The provider can use it to help guide the course of treatment and make them aware of what the client sees as their issues. The questions themselves, regardless of the overall score, can elicit insight and awareness for the client…giving things to think about and pay attention to daily. I also like that the website promotes utilizing the health provider to obtain better health.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: The questions do not have time frames, which always seems to choke some people up. There is a lot of education about the M3 on the site, as well as there should be since that is what they are promoting, but little info about mood and anxiety disorders themselves. While the FAQ section was nicely laid out and discussed physiological health as it relates to depression (hooray), the treatment section was brief and vague. And, while it talks about seeing a provider, it never mentions the types and how to ask your providers for more help.
So, I hope what I add here helps…
My advice in answering the questions regarding time frame is, answer as they relate to you currently, like the last month or two. Most diagnoses given utilize the last 2 weeks to 3 months as a benchmark for diagnostic criteria. A good clinician will assess your history for a clear diagnosis. Utilize this site to stimulate questions you might have regarding mood or anxiety disorders and discuss these concerns with your clinician/provider.
Yes, everyone surfs the internet for answers, but the internet can lie. So, bring these same questions up to your clinician/provider to cross check the information that you find. Last, but certainly not least, check out the different providers that can help with mental health issues. It goes beyond your primary care physician, OB/GYN, pediatrician, and psychiatrist; psychologists, counselors, social workers, and therapists are all very important in treating mood and anxiety disorders.