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Holmes-Rahe Stressful Events List

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BruceMC, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was thumbing through Dr Sarno's Mindbody Prescription and saw the following list of stressful events (p. 26) that Dr Sarno postulates "produce 'disease' through the mechanism of internal rage". In other words, it's not uncommon for TMS to flare up a short time after one of these life events have occurred so I thought this list compiled many years ago by New York psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe belonged on the TMS Forum as a useful reference for TMS patients looking into the origins of their pain and other symptoms. It's extremely interesting when you are formulating a definition of what constitutes "stress" that many of these events are negative, but many are identified as socially desirable and, as Holmes and Rahe note, "consonant with the American values of achievement, success, materialism, practicality, efficiency, future orientation, conformism and self-reliance." Interesting too how so many (but not all) of the events on the Holmes-Rahe list are associated with abandonment and loss that are likely to trigger deep emotional memories of early childhood separation anxiety.
    1. Death of a spouse
    2. Divorce
    3. Marital separation
    4. Jail term
    5. Death of a close family member
    6. Personal injury or illness
    7. Marriage
    8. Fired at work
    9. Marital reconciliation
    10. Retirement
    11. Change in health of a family member
    12. Pregnancy
    13. Sex difficulties
    14. Gain of a new family member
    15. Business readjustment
    16. Change in financial state
    17. Death of a close friend
    18. Change to a different line of work
    19. Change in number of arguments with spouse
    20. Mortgage (varies with the housing market from region to region)
    21. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
    22. Change of work responsibilities
    23. Son or daughter leaving home
    24. Trouble with in-laws
    25. Outstanding personal achievement
    26. Wife begins or stops work
    27. Begin or end of school
    28. Change in living conditions
    29. Revision of personal habits
    30. Trouble with boss
    31. Change in work hours or conditions
    32. Change in residence
    33. Change in schools
    34. Change in recreation
    35. Change in church activities
    36. Change in social activities
    37. Small mortgage or loan
    38. Change in sleeping habits
    39. Change in number of family get-togethers
    40. Change in eatting habits
    41. Vacation
    42. Christmas
    43. Minor violations of the law
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    Ellen, Forest and Anne Walker like this.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I notice the word CHANGE in a lot of these!
  3. honeybear424

    honeybear424 Well known member

    Thanks for posting this, Bruce! I think the abandonment and loss issues are huge as well. I'm noticing that to most definitely be the case for me personally.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's awesome Bruce, thanks for posting it.
  5. nancy

    nancy Well known member

  6. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Thanks, I had forgotten that list! I have had all but four of these issues. This must be true
    TMS. Nancy
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, Anne, change for the good or change for the bad can both be equally stressful simply because they demand that an organism adapt to external stimuli. It becomes agitated if the change is for the good. It becomes agitated if the change is for the bad. I guess you might classify TMS as one of what Hungarian-born endocrinologist Hans Selye calls "diseases of adaption". For more details about Selye (who in fact coined the term, 'stress'), see Chapter 22 - CFS: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome of Steve Ozanich's The Great Pain Deception (2011).

    I guess everyone can think of a case or two where someone inherits a million dollars or has a hit record, and then proceeds to follow a downward path? A really positive event can place demands on you that you don't really like, at least your inner child doesn't like them for one capricious, irrational reason or another.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I could add watching television news.

    And mail delivery. It's too many bills.

    Worst of all, if my dog is sick. She never is, thank heaven.
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bills in the mail only produce stress, Walt, if your checking account is empty or you're anticipating it being empty in the sometime immediate future. Kinda fun paying bills if you have $530,000 in your checking account like Jerry Garcia or Keith Richards or Jimmy Page. Ooophs! Jerry's not with us anymore, is he? All the money in the world and no toys to spend it on.
  10. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    Well put Bruce, that's the problem with today's world. Enough is never Enough. I like
    the simple life, spend with common sense and what you can afford, while saving at the
    same time.
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I was a graduate teaching fellow living on $480 per month, I had a lot more stimulating, exciting, committed and involved life than when I was making big bucks on the president's staff at Fujitsu Ltd. Many more things to look forward to like summer vacation hiking, fishing, climbing, biking and trail running in the High Sierra. Money is nothing unless it makes you part of a vital, evolving intellectual community (like the one we have here on the TMS Forum!)

    I didn't pick that $530,000 in a checking account figure at random. That's about what Jerry Garcia had in his personal checking account when he died in 1995. That plus property in Marin County and Hawaii and around $50 million in the Grateful Dead trust. However, contrary to popular belief, Jerry did not die of a drug overdose. Rather he had a massive coronary due to an enlarged heart from diabetes, caused no doubt by the fact that he was at least a hundred pounds overweight. It seems that when he wasn't actively touring and getting praise from his fans for his guitar virtuosity, Jerry would retire to his mansion in Mill Valley and eat junk food while smoking three packs of Camel straights a day while blossoming up over 300 pounds. You can definitely see in Jerry's case what Dr Gabor Mate says about addiction really beginning in the mind, probably due to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) where someone has to fill up every waking moment with some kind of distraction that can of course take the form of drug use but can also take the form of behavioral disorders such as compulsive gambling, workaholism, and video gaming. When someone with those kind of addictive personality traits experiences one of the stressors on the Holmes-Rahe list you can see how they wind up on skid row living in a box or else in the morgue due to an overdose. Faced with a stressful life event they just intensify the addictive behaviors that were there all the time.

    It does seem to me that a lot of this has to do with the consumer ethic run out of control throughout the general population.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014

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