My Life's Stress is Not Reflected in the Stress Score
I wanted to take the Stress Test to see what my score would be. Since I am 22 years old and just graduated from college but still back and forth between home (and college) I wasn't sure whether I'd fit better under the adult or the teenage category (I also have never dated yet, which I'm sure can be a lot of stress)!
I took both to compare the scores. Both are low. But I think the real story of m life would reflect something different...
My sister has Borderline Personality Disorder. For those of you who know nothing about BPD, think about a rapid-cycling Bipolar without the extreme mania. Now, this "rapid-cycling" like emotions for BPD may mean a few hours to a few days before there is a change from high/low/middle. Sometimes they feel as if they are great people, other times they are depressed and suicidal. Impulsivity towards self-harm is also common with those with BPD.
Now that you have the general picture, consider that in the past 3.5 years my sister has been admitted 25 times to a psychiatric hospital. Almost every time was because she was very suicidal and despite my parents and myself doing everything to keep her safe (including missing work and on my part, missing class) we hit the point where we couldn't keep her safe, either because she was too suicidal or we were just plain exhausted. She's also run away from home numerous times. The police unfortunately know us well (even though she's now an adult).
Yes, a good number (I've lost track of specifically how many, but probably around 8) of those admissions have been this year. I've actually missed more class days this year than any of my previous college years combined to stay home to keep her safe (or one time my mom and I were driving to pick her up after she drove off on a whim and was scared to come home--wise to call us considering she had been suicidal and seemed confused).
My Dad had a psychiatric admission this year too and also got diagnosed with BPD. We're still struggling to help my sister live a normal life (because, believe me or not, my sister is a wonderful, loving, smart person when she's doing well and we'd really like to see her thrive in life) but yet no therapist, psychiatrist, or MD has been able to help stop this cycle.
None of these "mental-health" issues, including my own trouble with anxiety and depression, show up on the test. Maybe some would say that I can consider my sister's issues to be a "change in health of a family member" but this really isn't a change for her. It's been about the same since she got diagnosed with BPD.
Yes, my Dad's issues leading up to his diagnosis was a change, but I did indicate that and still ended up with a low score.
The "Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale" may help a lot, or even most, people fairly accurately measure their stress and thus the risk for health problems from the stress. It can be a good tool for some people. But I don't think it was very accurate for me and I'm guessing there are others like me who may feel the same.
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