Is There An Online Test For Stress?

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.

Life Event Score
Death of a spouse or partner
Divorce
Marital separation
Serving a jail sentence
Death of a close relative
Serious illness or injury
Marriage
Loss of job
Marital reconciliation
Retirement
Change in family member's health
Pregnancy
Sexual difficulties
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
Outstanding achievement
Spouse starting or ending work
Starting or completing education
Trouble with employer
Change in working habits
Moving house
Change in church activities
Change in sleeping habits
Change in number of family get-togethers
100
73
65
63
63
53
50
47
45
45
44
40
39
39
37
36
35
35
31
30
29
29
29
28
26
26
23
20
20
19
16
15

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:

• Headaches.
• Dizziness and blurred vision.
• Ulcers.
• 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.

• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT QUESTIONS ON FEMALE HEALTH
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