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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Are You Suffering From Symptoms Of Chronic Stress? Take the Stress Test!

Today's post comes from guest author Kit Case from Causey Law Firm.

Signs of Chronic Stress:
Cognitive symptoms
•          Memory problems
•          Inability to concentrate
•          Poor judgment
•          Pessimistic approach or thoughts
•          Anxious or racing thoughts
•          Constant worrying
Emotional symptoms
•          Moodiness
•          Irritability or short temper
•          Agitation, inability to relax
•          Feeling overwhelmed
•          Sense of loneliness and isolation
•          Depression or general unhappiness
Physical symptoms
•          Aches and pains
•          Diarrhea or constipation
•          Nausea, dizziness
•          Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
•          Loss of sex drive
•          Frequent colds
Behavioral symptoms
•          Eating more or less
•          Sleeping too much or too little
•          Isolating oneself from others
•          Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
•          Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax

Take the Stress Test for Adults:
Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe in 1967, examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. Patients were asked to tally a list of 43 life events based on a relative score. A positive correlation was found between their life events and their illnesses.
Their results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), known more commonly as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
Note: the table, below, is from the Wikipedia page on this subject.  For a fee of $5.00, you can go directly to Dr. Rahe's website and obtain the full test materials as well as background information and details of this and other products and services available.
To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
Life eventLife change units
Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Imprisonment 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Dismissal from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain a new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in frequency of arguments 35
Major mortgage 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse starts or stops work 26
Begin or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Minor mortgage or loan 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of law 11
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.

Recommended methods for relieving chronic stress include exercise (which can be modified to accommodate physical restrictions after an injury), meditation, music therapy, breathing techniques, and such simple things as companionship - from a pet, friend or family member.