Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Cumulative Stress Test

I am putting this in for both the volunteers that are working in the Gulf Region as well as anyone who lives there who might want to monitor their own stress level or those they work with.

This was taken from pp 56,57 "Emergency Services Stress - Guidelines For Preserving The Health And Careers Of Emergency Services Personnel" by Jeff Mitchell and Grady Bray - 1990 edition.

Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberger has developed a simple test which can help to determine if a person is developing cumulative stress reactions. He suggests that a person review the changes in his or her life during the past few months. Think about each question for about 30 seconds and then pick the number from the rating scale that represents the category which is more appropriate for you for that question.

Freudenberger advises that the higher the score, the more concern about the potential to develop cumulative stress there should be. But people should not be panicked because they can still do something about their stress level. The sooner a person starts taking care of himself or herself, the better.

1= No Change
2= Little Change
3= moderate change
4= considerable change
5= a great deal of change

1. Do you tire more easily? Feel fatigued rather than energetic?
2. Are people annoying you by telling you, "You don't look so good lately"?
3. Are you working harder and harder and accomplishing less and less?
4. Are you increasingly cynical and disenchanted?
5. Are you often invaded by a sadness you cannot explain?
6. Are you forgetting appointments, deadlines, personal possessions?
7. Are you increasingly irritable? More short-tempered? More disappointed in the people around you?
8. Are you seeing close friends and family members less frequently?
9. Are you too busy to do even routine things such as making phone calls or reading reports or sending birthday cards?
10. Are you suffering from physical complaints (aches, pains, headaches, or lingering cold?)
11. Do you feel disoriented when the activity of the day comes to a halt?
12. Is joy elusive?
13. Are you unable to laugh at a joke about yourself?
14. Does sex seem like more trouble than it's worth?
15. Do you have very little to say to people?


0-25: You are doing fine
26-35: There are a few things that you should watch.
36-50: You are a candidate for cumulative stress.
51-65: You are well into cumulative stress.
over 65: You are in danger. Your physical and mental health are threatened.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does it mean if you are well into cumulative stress?

09 January, 2009 06:19  
Blogger Leslie said...

It means your stress level is becoming a chronic issue, which isn't good for a number of reasons.

Physically, your body can only handle so much stress for so long before it starts to break down. You get sick more often, and more severely.

Emotionally, you being to see every situation as a stressful situation - you want peanut butter AND jelly?! You've been in fight or flight mode for so long, the body doesn't know how to NOT be in it, and simple choices feel like life or death situations. It leaves you very vulnerable to depression - and it's as much chemical as it is your actual thought process.
Since you're not in the danger zone, you'll be able to change things some. I know life can continue throwing curve balls at you, but you just have to keep putting them in perspective. So what if you want peanut butter AND jelly?
Force yourself to make time for the little things. Force yourself to quiet your brain down. Force yourself to take a walk around the block, or do a half hour of stretching (total over the day). By forcing yourself to do it, you'll find you actually DO have the time to do it and you'll feel so much better for it. A more normal state of living will slowly come back into your life and you will be able to cope with the real trials of life, and not see your hair needing to be brushed as a dire situation.

09 January, 2009 09:49  

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