Why get screened?

Lee-Anna Bardun

I had John Schell screen me for depression. It only took a few minutes for me to fill out the questionnaire. The test asked a few different series of questions to screen for depression, generalized anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Before I took the test, I was already thinking I wouldn’t answer yes to any of the questions. “My mental health is perfectly fine,” I thought to myself before I started filling out the answers.

As I began reading through the questions, I was a bit surprised. I was expecting all sorts of outlandish questions like, “Have you ever tried to jump out of a building?” But the questions seemed pretty normal. I even started answering yes to a few, like “Have I felt stressed or worried?” I did. A lot of times I did: about school, my family, my boyfriend, getting a job when I graduate, if I remembered to turn off my coffee pot when I left to do this interview. . Did I?

I scribbled down the rest of my answers and handed the form back to Schell. Sitting patiently, I waited to hear my results. I was feeling slightly tense. Fumbling with my pen nervously, I watched as he looked over my scores.

I was relieved to hear most of my scores were all normal, either low or in the middle of the range. It made me feel a little better that I fell into that category, but I began to rethink why people should be getting screened. I think it’s because there is no such thing as perfect mental health.

Everybody is going to check yes in one of those boxes at some point or maybe have the whole sheet filled with check marks. Whatever the case, it’s important, just to be aware that we are all human. Sometimes stress, anxiety, depression or something traumatic can affect us, not in a physical way but in a way that affects our daily life.

I walked away from my screening test feeling a little more aware of my mental well being and myself. Not only did I learn about myself, but also got a little glimpse of the types of issues impacting others in their day-to-day lives.

Contact student life reporter Lee-Anna Bardun at [email protected]