SEPTEMBER 27, 1985/MONTROSE VOICE 7
Dr. Didato's Personality Quiz
Are You a "High-Voltage" Type?
By Salvatore V. Didato, Ph.D.
Special to the Montrose Voice
A hard-bitten oil tycoon was once asked if
he had ulcers. His reply was, "I don't get
ulcers, I give them."
Living intensely is a way of life for some
people. More than 80 million prescriptions
for tranquilizers are written annually to
help people keep their emotions in check,
but some don't succeed. Their overreac-
tions often cause detrimental results for
themselves and others.
At the JohnB-Hopkins University Medical School's Department of Psychiatry,
Dr. Leonard Derogatis has devised
lengthy questionnaires to identify individuals who don't handle stressful events
well. The quiz ahead is based on a number
of such tests which assess a person's style
of handling difficult life situations.
To learn if you, when irritated, are likely
to "drop the bomb on Luxembourg,"
answer each item as follows: Rarely—1;
Sometimes—2; and Often—3, then read on
1. You grow quite impatient when you
must wait in line.
2. You work hard, play hard and try to be
the best at what you do.
3. You easily become annoyed when
held up by someone in traffic.
4. You are more of a go-getter than most
of your friends are.
5. You slam and break things when
6. It irritates you when people don't take
7. You shout at strangers when you
become annoyed (i.e. when you drive,
while you shop, while on the job).
8. You hate to lose at things you attempt
9. When you are angry, you speed up and
do things faster, (i.e. drive, eat, walk, etc.).
10. You don't easily forgive and forget
when someone has offended you.
The quiz items, you will notice, are all
overreactions, which display an intensity
usually unnecessary to cope with the
A healthy personality engages in a kind
of psychic economy of its own. It responds
to life with the effort and energy reasonably appropriate to deal with events—not
much more and not much less.
A wife who jumps up and rushes to
answer the door, a teenager who walks
fast or gulps his food, a manager who
slams his desk or who repeatedly jabs the
elevator button would all be examples of
over-extended behavior. Clinical psycho]
ogists look for this "too-muchness" quality in behavior to judge it as neurotic.
People who avidly play games with a hidden vengeance to win are usually displac
ing their hostility toward their opponents
It's fair to say that occasionally everyone acts intensively, but it doesn't
necessarily brand us as maladjusted.
However, some high-tension individuals actually strive unwittingly to maintain a high level of stress for themselves.
These "adrenalin junkies" spill more
adrenalin into their bloodstream than
most of us. To them life isn't exciting
unless it is lived at a high level of anticipation and excitement. They push themselves and take chances to create a sense
of adventure and keep themselves in a
state of pleasure and excitement.
Research at Harvard University shows
that intense types drive hard to gain mastery over life. They are argumentative and
competitive. They are over-sensitive to
slights by others (items 3,6,10), they make
up for shortcomings by overcompensating
in the things they do (2, 4, 8), and they
scapegoat others (1, 5, 7, 9).
The quiz identifies the above traits. The
more you answered True, the more you
tend to be an intensive adaptor to daily
living. Total your points and check the
meaning of your score.
0-15 points—Low key and easygoing.
16-23 points—Average range of emotional responses.
24-30 points—You're living in a pressure
Perhaps it's time to relax more and gain
a better perspective on life.
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