| Take The Holmes Rahe Stress Test
Yes, the Holmes-Rahe stress scale was devised by two American researchers and can be used to estimate your level of stress. A score of more than 150 points for the past 12 months means you have a 50 per cent chance of developing a stress-related illness in the near future. If you score more than 300 the chance increases to 90 per cent. To take the test, simply add the scores of which ever life event(s) you have experienced in the past year to receive your total score.
|Death of a spouse or partner
Serving a jail sentence
Death of a close relative
Serious illness or injury
Loss of job
Change in family member's health
New baby or family member
Significant change in financial state
Death of a close friend
Changing line of work
More domestic arguments
Have a high mortgage
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
More or less responsibility at work
Child leaving home
Friction with in-laws
Spouse starting or ending work
Starting or completing education
Trouble with employer
Change in working habits
Change in church activities
Change in sleeping habits
Change in number of family get-togethers
Background To The Test
In 1967 psychiatrists Richard Rahe and Thomas Holmes decided to study if stress contributes to illness. They studied 5,000 patients and asked them if they had experienced any of 43 life events in the previous 2 years. Each life event (called a life change unit, LCU) was 'weighted' differently. The higher the end score, the more likely it turned out that the patient was to become ill. The long-term effects of stress include:
• Dizziness and
• Hyperventilation, heart palpitations, asthma.
• High blood pressure.
• Heart disease and other cardiac problems.
• High blood sugar, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Nervous digestive system, in particular irritable bowel syndrome. See stress and IBS.
• Infertility in women.
• Disturbed sleep patterns.
• Neck and back problems.
• Bowel disorders. For more details, read about the dangers of stress.
Stress And The Heart
The link between stress and heart disease in women is complex and not yet fully understood. If you feel stressed, your blood will produce more hormones. Although in small amounts these hormones are useful, in large amounts and over time they can damage the arteries and may lead to high blood pressure. Also, when pressurized people tend to seek out comforts and are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke and eat fatty foods. All of these can contribute to heart problems.
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