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Are You Hungry for Serotonin?

Score the following:
[ 0-never, 1-rarely, 2-sometimes, 3-frequently, 4-always]

1. I feel that I’m not getting enough of one or more of the following: calm, serenity, peace, or quiet.

2. When I feel blue, my idea of comfort might include one or more of the following: cuddling, seeing a therapist, meditation, yoga, a gentle stroll, a romantic movie,
peaceful music, or talking to someone to cheer me up.

3. I crave tea, wine, cigarettes, or cigars.

4. When I’m in a bad mood I crave sugar, carbs, foods with a soothing texture, such as ice cream, or soothing temperatures, such as soup, or familiar foods.

5. I don’t like it when things are out of place.

6. I don’t like it when people are late.

7. I question myself and wonder whether I’ll be good enough to reach my goals.

8. I wonder why other people seem to have it so much more together than I do.

9. I feel lonely.

10. I prefer a job where there is not much pressure or where I can work alone without competition or demands.

11. I like to take care of others by cooking.

12. I will eat when others do, just to be polite.

13. I startle easily or am easily frightened.

14. I get stuck in anxious thoughts.

15. I’m fearful.

16. I carry tension in my body, especially my neck, back, shoulders, around the temples, or in my jaw.

17. I get headaches.

18. When I have a physical symptom, I worry about what potentially life-threatening disease I might have.

19. I have trouble falling asleep.

20. I don’t like to sit still. I either pace, do something with my hands, or have something in my mouth. I rely on gum, toothpicks, cigarettes, candy, playing with my hair, or some other way of keeping busy.

21. I feel nervous.

22. I have the general feeling that things are not going to be okay.

23. I eat to calm myself down.

24. I feel overwhelmed.

25. I don’t like change.

26. I consider myself a conflict-avoider or people-pleaser.

27. When things are bad, I have trouble seeing any hopeful possibilities.

28. I use sedating prescription drugs (i.e. painkillers, tranquilizers, or anti-anxiety medication) in a way I know a physician did not intend or use illegal sedating drugs (i.e. marijuana, Ecstasy, heroin).

29. I have a history of anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, agoraphobia, or specific phobias. (If no, score this item 0; if yes, score this item 4.)

30. I have responded favorably to anti-anxiety medication, sleeping pills, or the following antidepressants or their generic formulations: Buspar, Celexa, Cipralex, Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Lustrol, Luvox, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac, Remeron, Sarafem, Seroxat, Serzone, Zoloft. (If no, score this item 0; if yes, score this item 4.)

Add up your scores for items 28, 29, and 30.
Total (from boxes 28, 29, and 30 only): _________
Now, multiply this number by 3.
X3 = _________ (A)
Add up your scores for items 1-27.
Total: ______________ (B)
If you are a woman, put a 5 in box C
If you are a man, put a 0 in box C _____________ (C)
A + B + C = ___________ (D)
Your score:

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