Working outdoors in the winter was on my bucket list, even though I had always known that it would be a part-time one. Hence, I went to Switzerland one summer, hoping to work as a waiter in one of the restaurants near the Alps. This way, I could fulfill my dream and go skiing on my off days.
To my utter delight, the restaurant that accepted me as a part-timer took mental health seriously. It was the only job I ever had where the administration would have a mental health professional evaluate the employees’ psychological well-being using DASS and other mental stress tests.
What is the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale?
The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) is a self-explanatory instrument that P.F. Lovibond and S.H. Lovibond developed in 1995 to analyze depression, anxiety, and stress levels. Each issue is a subscale with 14 different symptoms falling underneath them. The higher you score in this examination, the more it entails that the person is emotionally disturbed.
Is there a mental stress test?
Yes, there is a mental stress test. In truth, psychiatrists can use several of them to help individuals determine their stress levels. Some may prefer to provide self-report methods and checklists; others may choose to interview or observe the patients.
In some cases, a doctor can ask for a blood cortisol test. As the name suggests, they will get a blood sample and check the cortisol amount – a stress hormone – in your system.
How do you know if you have stress or anxiety?
You have anxiety if you experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive worrying
- Panic attacks
- Irrational fears
- Extreme nervousness
Meanwhile, you are dealing with stress if you experience these symptoms:
- Short fuse
- Digestive issues
- Muscle pain
- Sleep deprivation
- Eating too much
Is there a link between stress and depression?
Yes, of course, there is a link between depression and stress. As experts put it, stress is one of the major trigger factors of depression as it prevents you from seeing a way out of your issues. The more stress you experience, you more you may feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. If you cannot cope with the stressful situations you find yourself in, it can develop into depression.
What are the five emotional signs of stress?
- You experience fatigue or apathy
- You cannot make decisions, no matter how obvious they are
- You often lose track of everything
- You are always irritated
- Your sleeping and eating patterns begin to change
What organs are affected by stress?
Stress is such a tricky problem that it affects practically every part of the body. It starts in the brain as stressful activities overwhelm you, causing the stress hormone’s overproduction. Then, your muscle tenses up; you do not get enough oxygen circulating in the lungs, your heart rate increases, and your stomach cannot digest food well.
Can your body shut down from stress?
Yes, your body can shut down from stress, although it may not always cause you to collapse while dealing with a stressful event. Some people suffer from severe fatigue and exhaustion; others feel too stressed that they end up with a mental disorder. Either way, you need to stop doing your activities and keep on resting until you feel like yourself again.
What happens if anxiety is left untreated?
When you leave your anxiety untreated, you may experience panic attacks more and more, to the extent that they get in the way of your daily activities. You may feel too afraid to talk to anyone, always anticipating that something awful will happen to you. You may even end up choosing not to leave the house, unable to do anything. The worst-case scenario is that your heart rate may often be elevated and lead to heart attack, hypertension, or stroke.
What can stress do to a woman’s body?
Stress can do the following to a woman’s body:
- It may cause you to develop ovarian cysts and other reproductive issues
- It can weaken your immune system significantly
- It can weaken your cardiovascular and digestive organs
- It can cause obesity
What is toxic stress syndrome?
A toxic stress syndrome is a severe form of stress-related issue that a person may experience when one stressful situation comes after another, and they do not have time to deal with any of them. The result is that the stressors pile up, making them unable to figure out how to start fixing things. You can typically see this syndrome in victims of abuse, violence, neglect, or even divorce, especially if they cannot get mental support.
Is burnout a mental illness?
No, burnout is technically not a mental illness. When someone is burnt out, it means that they pretty much want to give up on an activity regardless of the consequence of doing so and are unable to deal with stressful situations productively. Nevertheless, experiencing burnout indicates that you may have an undetected mental health problem.
What is sleep anxiety?
Sleep anxiety is a unique form of anxiety that people experience as they try to fall asleep. You may often hear it among insomniacs as they dread bedtimes, knowing that they will lie awake in bed for hours. They may try various things to increase their chances of falling asleep, but they do not always work.
Can anxiety mess with your mind?
Yes, anxiety can mess with your mind by doing the following:
- It pushes you to worry about things that are not worth worrying about.
- It prevents you from taking risks or grabbing opportunities as you believe that something wrong will indeed happen.
- It affects how you view real situations negatively.
- It makes you think that someone is out there to get you all the time.
What is the root cause of anxiety?
A myriad of things can cause anxiety. E.g., stressful work, awful relationships, medical issues, genetics, and other mental disorders. It is not a one-size-fits-all circumstance at all. If you wish to know your anxiety’s root cause, you should soon work with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
In reality, my time in Switzerland was not stressful at all. It might have been a healing experience for me, considering my stress level went down every time I took the mental stress tests. When I decided to open a new business back in the U.S., therefore, I made sure to look after my employees’ mental health in the same way.