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Too much stress affects different people in different ways at different times in their lives.  The ability to cope depends on several factors – overall health, your personality type, the way you’ve learned to cope in the past and how many stressful events you’ve experienced recently.  We can take so much stress but will eventually reach a point when even small amounts of pressure can result in emotional or physical collapse.

The following questionnaire regarding psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural symptoms of stress gives an indication of the levels of stress you are suffering.

All you need to do is honestly put a tick next to any of the symptoms you suffer from frequently. If you tick three or more symptoms in any one area it’s likely that you are experiencing a significant amount of stress in that area – it’s time to take action to reduce the stress.

Psychological Symptoms

·         Inability to concentrate

·         Not thinking clearly

·         Difficulty in make simple decisions

·         Loss of self-confidence

·         Being vague or forgetful

·         Frustration

·         Feeling out of control and helpless

·         Depression

·         Difficulty making rational judgments

·         Getting things out of perspective

·         Undue mental tiredness

·         Feeling there’s never enough time

·         Diminished sex drive

·         Loss of sense of humour

·         More arguments with spouse or children

Emotional Symptoms

·         Feelings of anxiety or worry

·         Irritability

·         Angry outbursts

·         Feelings of guilt

·         Feelings of hostility

·         Defensive and over-sensitive to criticism

·         Feeling isolated from colleagues and friends

·         Fear of rejection

·         Fear of failure

·         Fear of success or promotion

·         Panicky feelings or panic attacks

·         Nightmares or disturbing dreams

·         Feelings of impending doom

·         Feelings of worthlessness

·         Feelings of hopelessness

·         Feel lonely or sad

 

Physical Symptoms

Place a tick against any symptoms that you experience frequently or severely

·         Sweaty, clammy hands

·         Shaking hands

·         Knot in the stomach

·         Butterflies in the stomach

·         Hyperventilation

·         Erratic breathing

·         Palpitations

·         Rapid pulse

·         Dizziness

·         Faintness

·         Ringing in the ears

·         Difficulty in swallowing

·         Lump in the throat

·         Sore throat or hoarseness

·         Enlarged glands in the neck

·         High-pitched voice

·         Talking faster than usual

·         Jelly legs

·         Cramps

·         Restless leg syndrome

·         Physical tiredness

·         Feeling of being drained

·         Insomnia

·         Waking up in the middle of the night or too early

·         Still tired after a night’s sleep

·         Headache

·         Dry mouth

·         Muscle tension

·         Tight neck or shoulders

·         Teeth grinding

·         Sexual difficulties

·         Stiff jaw

·         Constipation

·         Diarrhea

·         Nausea

·         Abdominal pain or indigestion

·         Loss of appetite

·         Excess hunger

·         High or low blood pressure

·         Frequent urination
Women only:

·         Difficult menstruation

·         Premenstrual syndrome

·         Menopausal or pre-menopausal difficulties

Men only

·         Weak or slow urine stream

·         Prostate trouble

·         Trouble with erections

Behavioural symptoms

·         Smoke more than usual

·         Drink more alcohol than is generally accepted for good health

·         Eat more sweets, chocolate or pastries than usual

·         Take antidepressants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, narcotics, pain relievers, marijuana or other street drugs

·         Eat less than usual

·         Bingeing on foods or alcohol

·         Taking laxatives or purging to control weight

·         Becoming a workaholic with not time for relaxation or pleasurable activities

·         Absenteeism from work

·         Avoidance of certain people or places

·         Withdrawal from social gatherings

·         Obsessive or compulsive behaviour; for example checking and re-checking you have locked the door/switched the lights off/washing your hands over and over etc.

 

QUESTIONNARE TWO
THE HOLMES-RAHE SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATINGS SCALE

To measure your stress level for the last year of your life, add up the number of “Life Change Units” (see below) that apply to events you have experienced.  The score you receive will give you an idea of your baseline level of stress.

SCALE FOR ADULTS (18 AND OVER)

Life Events                                                                                 Life Change Units

Death of a spouse                                                                                  100

Divorce                                                                                                       73

Marital Separation                                                                                     65

Imprisonment                                                                                              63

Death of a Close Family Member                                                             63

Personal Injury of 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

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

TOTAL

Score 300+
Be extremely careful – you are at a greatly increased risk of serious illness (reduce stress now).

Score 150-299+
Be cautious – your risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

Score less than 150
Be glad – you only have a slight risk of illness (but still need to take care of yourself).

NOTE: Since individual responses vary so greatly, your score is only a crude measure of your level of stress, but you will see better WHY you are stressed.

 

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