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Stress Test

Stress is a pressure exerted on a person to deal with change. These pressures run the gamut from a death of a spouse, divorce, illness, to vacations, traffic tickets, and other minor stressors. Life Change Scaling, a method for measuring stress, indicates that stressors have increased in intensity by 50 percent from 1967 to 1994.

The explosion of information from the Internet and television has made us more aware of the life style of the rich and famous. At the same time, the pace of life has quickened. We have ever more information and tools, including e-mail, cell phones, and instant messaging. This increases stress on us to master our jobs, educate our children and become billionaires.

Can you pass this stress test?

Do you currently:

1. Have trouble finishing projects?
2. Have trouble sleeping?
3. Find yourself using antacids more often?
4. Feel burnt-out or anxious?
5. Use alcohol to relax?
6. Lose your temper more easily than usual?
7. Experience chest pain?
8. Have unexpected crying spells?
9. Overeat or undereat?
10. Become ill, yet doctors can't diagnose a specific cause?
11. Become dizzy?
12. Have trouble relaxing?
13. Feel weighed down?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then you are having trouble handling stress.

What can be done about this?

It is important to lower our expectations. To the extent that we are not responsible for life events, we should attempt to calm down. If this does not work, then we should seek professional advice. The help can range from problem solving, time management and thought-behavior therapy, to psychotherapy and medication.

Most important of all is to recognize that we have limitations. We need to sleep, eat and have some fun. If we aim at a balanced life we can have a good life!

Dr. William Richardson and the team of Alpha Behavorial Care offer personalized and comprehensive care of a number of mental health issues. (908) 988-0587, .