Best of 2022

Your Psychiatrist’s Generalized Anxiety Survey

  1. In the past five days, how often have you experienced nervousness or felt on edge?
  2. …been so restless you can’t keep still?
  3. …skipped meals or experienced low or no appetite?
  4. …avoided social interactions, even with loved ones, such as a partner/spouse?
  5. If you answered “Sometimes,” was it to avoid hearing your partner/spouse mention their coworker Paul again and how funny and clever he is?
  6. How likely are you in the next week to attend a small social gathering, such as a party or your partner/spouse’s work happy hour?
  7. Even if you know Paul’s going to be there and he’s probably going to show pictures from his kayaking trip in Colorado?
  8. How often do you experience feelings of inadequacy? 
  9. Intellectual inadequacy?
  10. Emotional inadequacy?
  11. Physical inadequacy (weak/impotent)?
  12. A general, amorphous inadequacy, like a sense that somehow whatever potential you had—whatever unique gifts you could have somehow, once, cultivated—are wasted, squandered?
  13. You sure?
  14. You don’t ever feel like you’re letting down everyone important in your life or that you’re generally a disappointment of a human being?
  15. Have you seen Paul’s Instagram?
  16. It’s mostly pictures of Paul shirtless, performing an array of daring, rigorous outdoor activities, huh?
  17. On a scale of 1 to 5, how anxious are you that you’re partner/spouse has faked every orgasm they’ve ever purportedly had with you, that it isn’t a problem with them because they’ve definitely climaxed for every other person they’ve been with (a not inconsiderable number, especially compared to your count), and that you’re utterly lacking in charisma and virility?
  18. If you answered 3 or above, has it ever crossed your mind that your partner/spouse probably remembers their first time with a certain fondness, the May sunlight creeping through the heavy plastic dorm room blinds, muted sounds of Tom Petty pulsing through the wall from the stoners’ four-person suite next door, their sometime-boyfriend’s bed rank and sweaty, sheets half-strewn on the floor?
  19. Do you think there are any sexual encounters that you’ve had with your partner/spouse that they would remember in equal detail? Not counting the time in the Berkshires when you used off-brand condoms?
  20. Really? None of that bothers you?
  21. Over the past two weeks, have you awoken in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep?
  22. If yes, did you lie awake staring at the ceiling, wondering whether you are a total fraud, if your life is inconsequential, and every meaningful connection you believe to have made is superficial and valueless, and/or that every relationship you value means orders of magnitude more to you than to the other person, who would probably remember you only occasionally, and frankly with indifference, if you were to disappear?
  23. Your spouse/partner really lit up when Paul showed up at the last happy hour you went to, huh?
  24. Isn’t he taller in real life than he looks on his LinkedIn profile picture?
  25. Do you ever wonder if Paul would make your spouse/partner happier in the long run?
  26. Yeah, agreed.