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Well-known member
Apr 23, 2010
goodness knows!
Some Origins of Anxiety

Anxiety and feelings of stress are symptoms, a response to pressure, the more intolerable or persistent the pressure, the worse the anxiety. And this does not necessarily mean a single, overwhelming difficulty. More often it is an accumulation of things. This cumulative side of anxiety is well documented in Barrie Hopson’s work on transitions, which he has related to the Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale (Griffiths 1981). This information is nowhere near as daunting as it might sound. It can be a particularly useful and comforting piece of knowledge. It shows, in easily understood terms, how all manner of changes – many of which the majority of us might barely accepts as changes at all – and an accumulation of such changes, can have a profound effect on our lives.

Drs. Holmes and Rahe found that the adjustment that an individual needed to deal with various changes was remarkably consistent from culture to culture around the world, and they gave mean values to a whole range of these (see the abbreviated list below).

They found that illness or a change in health were likely if certain totals were met during a one - year period. These were; 0 - 149 no significant change likely; 150 - 199 mild stress and a 35% chance of illness; 200 - 299, moderate stress and a 50% chance of illness; 300+, major stress and an 80% chance of illness. It is estimated that it takes a year to replenish the energy expended in adjusting to any of the changes described below.

These are the scale ratings that apply most:
•Death of a spouse - 100
•Divorce - 73
•Marital separation - 65
•Death of a close family member - 63
•Major personal injury or illness - 53
•Marriage - 50
•Marital reconciliation - 45
•Retirement - 45
•Major change in health or behaviour of a family member - 44
•Pregnancy - 40
•Sexual difficulties - 39
•Gaining a new family member (birth, adoption, relative moving in) - 39
•Major change in financial status (lot better, or worse, off) - 38
•Death of a close friend - 37
•Changing to different kind of work - 36
•Major changes in number of arguments with spouse (lot more or lot less) - 38
•Taking out a mortgage - 31
•Major changes in work responsibilities - 29
•Son or daughter leaving home - 29
•Trouble with in-laws - 29
•Major change in living conditions (building or remodelling home or deterioration of home or neighbourhood) - 25
•Change in residence - 20
•Major change in type or amount of recreation - 19
•Taking out a loan - 17
•Major change in sleeping habits (more or less or different times) - 16
•Major change in number of family get - togethers (more or less) - 15
•Holiday - 13
•Christmas - 12

(Anxiety Care UK)


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
I suppose what they're saying about totting up a 'score' for one particular year isn't really the main thing I take from this article.
I think just seeing potential stressors written out is helpful reminder for me to understand why my anxiety has varied over time.

I am surprised to see Christmas so low down in the list though. I'm already anxious about it. :rolleyes:


Active member
Oct 23, 2015
so, does it have to be an overall? Example changes in health/behaviour in a loved one. If the loved one changed their behaviour at the begining of the year, went back to normal but it happened again later on, does that count as double that score?
Because if i totaled up individulally this year's stresses on that list, my anxiety should be mild and no health issues... yet here i am starting to get major anxiety again, sitting feeling ill, barely able to eat and not long got over a cold (a sign my immune isnt brill at the moment), so id need to double or tripple some of those reasons based on how often they've happened this year, to get the score that justifies it. unless the health they mean is more related to major stuff. :confused: