Yesterday, August 16, 2010, I wrote an article entitled “Grief and The Physical and Emotional Impact That It Has on The Body.” In that article, I indicated that I would provide information about a tool that will allow you to calculate your risk for physical and emotional problems due to stress.
The Stress Inventory Tool was developed by Dr. R. H. Rahe and Dr. T. H. Holmes. These physicians published the results of their study in the “Journal of Psychosomatic Research”. (11:213-216,1967.) The purpose of developing the scale was “to investigate the relationship between social readjustment, stress and susceptibility to illness.”
Their findings indicated that “a person with a score of 200-250 during a one-year period has a 50% chance of developing illness or health change.” With a score of 300 or more, “a person’s chances increase to 80%.”
The Stress Inventory Tool then lists several events that have happened to individuals within the last 12 months. In taking the test, the person reads the 30 events listed and checks the box by any of the events that apply to their specific situation.
Listed below are the events and the value assigned to each event:
***1. Death of a spouse (100)
***2. Divorce (72)
***3. Marital separation (65)
***4. Death of a close family member (63)
***5. Personal injury or illness (53)
***6. Marriage (50)
***7. Marital reconciliation (45)
***8. Change in health of family member (44)
***9. Pregnancy (40)
***10. Gain of new family member (39)
***11. Job Change (38)
***12. Change in financial status (37)
***13. Death of a close friend (36)
***14. Increase in arguments with significant other (35)
***15. Mortgage or loan of major puchase (home, etc.) (31)
***16. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan (30)
***17. Change in responsibilities of your job (29)
***18. Son or daughter leaving home (29)
***19. Trouble with in-laws (29)
***20. Outstanding personal achievement (28)
***21. Spouse begins or stops work outside the home (26)
***22. Revision of personal habits (24)
***23. Trouble with boss (23)
***24. Change in work hours or conditions (20)
***25. Change in residence (20)
***26. Change in sleeping habits (16)
***27. Change in eating habits (15)
***28. Vacation (13)
***29. Christmas (12)
***30. Minor violations of the law (11)
After taking the test, you then calcuate your total score. Listed below are the findings or Drs. Rahe and Holmes:
0-149 no significant problem
150-199 mild stress 35% chance of illness
200-299 moderate stress 59% chance of illness
300+ major stress 80% chance of illness
If you are concerned with your level of stress and the resulting % in chance of illness, you should seek professional health immediately.
For medical treatment, contact your Primary Care Physician (PCP.) If you do not have a PCP, you can look in the classified ads of any phone book and locate the address and phone number of a PCP. If you are unsure about whom to select, talk to family members, friends, or co-workers. They can give you names of medical professionals that they have found to provide excellent services.
If your concern is more for your emotional issues, you can easily locate the address and phone numbers of qualified mental health professionals. Below are some suggestions:
***Bluegrass Farmworker Health Center provides services for low-income or no-income families. They also accept Medicaid. They have two locations in Lexington. One location is on Versailles Road. The other location is on Eagle Creek Drive off Richmond Road. You can reach these Family Medical Centers by calling 859-259-2635.
***Comprehensive Care Centers are also another source for low-income or no-income families. They use a sliding scale to calculate charges for their services. The phone number for Comprehensive Care is 859-225-7147.
***Eastern State Hospital is actually under the management of Comprehensive Care. If you feel that your situation is extreme, you can contact them. They may be able to do an assessment on the telephone. If they feel that you need further professional help, such as in-patient hospitalization, they will advise you of this. They are located at 627 West 4th Street in Lexington. Their phone number is 859-246-7000.
If none of these options appeal to you, please refer back to the suggestion that classified ads in phone books can provide numerous options.
I hope that this article has been helpful to you and welcome any feedback (both positive or negative) that will enable me to better provide health information for the Lexington and surrounding area.