Stress test: Are my symptoms the result of too much stress?
in Stress

Stress test: Are my symptoms the result of too much stress?

Unfortunately we don’t have to explain stress to anyone these days. And that also applies to a burnout. Almost everyone knows someone in their environment who has experienced the serious consequences of such a burnout. Why did these people let it come to this?

Many people think that stress is part of the performance society we now live in and see stress as ‘part of the deal’. So they do recognise stress in themselves, but they are able to keep a balance between effort and relaxation. With other people, their full agenda is the determining factor in their lives. Physical or mental complaints are pushed aside; work comes first.

Finally, there are also people who are so alienated from themselves that they are literally attacked by a burn-out. They burst into tears and can’t stop, or one day they won’t be able to get out of bed. These people do not know, or do not want to know, that they have neglected themselves to such an extent that their bodies have now pressed the emergency button. And that has surprised them.

Which group of people do you belong to?

Good thing you are here!

Just to be clear: most of the people we coach always arrive a little too late. Often they have been suffering from psychological and/or physical complaints for (too) long, but do not recognise them as stress related. The further along in the process, the longer the recovery time takes. It also happens that they don’t want to accept that they suffer from stress.

Despite the fact that stress can be discussed everywhere nowadays, there are still people who see it as a weakness. This is also part of their character: people with a burnout are very strong people with perseverance and willpower. The other side of the coin is that they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge the signs of stress.

So it’s a real gain that you take a moment to think about your stress level and ask yourself how you are doing in this area.

What is the value of a stress test?

Do you have complaints in which you suspect that they are caused by stress? Visit your family doctor!
There are numerous symptoms of stress and burn-out. This also means that we often attribute a certain complaint to something else. For example, headaches can have many causes.

It is not immediately obvious that you recognise a tension headache caused by too much muscle tension in your shoulders and neck. Fatigue is also a complaint that is often not recognised as a symptom of stress. And then there are the many ‘vague’ complaints that you cannot place. In our free e-book you can read all about the symptoms of burn-out.

Don’t be alarmed, because we mention about 80 of them. But you will understand that the diagnosis of stress, chronic stress or burn-out is not that easy.

It is also possible that you are in doubt whether you might be suffering from depression instead of stress. An anxiety disorder can also be an underlying cause of your symptoms.

And that is why you need a doctor.

The results of a test only give an indication of the degree of stress you are experiencing. It gives you a picture, but not a diagnosis. However, it certainly has added value if you can present the results of a test to your doctor. He or she can use the test as a tool to make a correct diagnosis.

Which stress test is most suitable for me?

Which stress test is most suitable for me?

There are two stress tests that we find valuable:

  • The Potter Test is a test that is extremely suitable for people who have to deal with stress at work. The results of this test provide insight into the extent of your stress.
  • The 4DKL is a test that is not based on work stress, but gives an indication of a diagnosis of stress, depression, anxiety and physical tension complaints.

If there is tension at work, in whatever form, the 4DKL test is not suitable for you. The purpose of this test is to see whether your symptoms are caused by stress or another cause, such as depression.

Work stress? Take the Potter test

Beverly Potter is a leading American burn-out expert with numerous books to her name, including the bestselling ‘Overcoming Job Burnout’. The Potter Test is a test she has developed, in which burn-out situations are presented on the basis of questions.

Once again, the result is not a diagnosis, but an indication. An official diagnosis can only be made by a certified person.

Do I have stress, am I depressed or do I have an anxiety disorder?

Physical tension causes complaints that occur with stress, anxiety and depression. And that is confusing. There can also be physical tension complaints (somatisation).

The Four-dimensional Complaints List (4DKL) was developed by Dr. Berend Terluin in 2008. Many care institutions, general practitioners and other care providers use his questionnaire to detect, map and discuss psychological problems.

Again, only a doctor can determine whether there is stress (distress), depression, anxiety or somatisation. No rights can therefore be derived from this test either.

My stress level is too high. How to proceed?

Of course we hope the result or score is good and you don’t have to worry. However, if the result indicates too high a level of stress, depression or an anxiety disorder, it is important that you take this seriously and see a doctor.
Each diagnosis requires a different treatment. In the case of depression, for example, you are often referred to a psychotherapist.

Has the test made it clear to you that preventive measures are needed to lower your stress level? Or worse, do the questions show that you have symptoms associated with a burnout? Then you need help to change your behaviour, among other things. This is often a fixed pattern that needs to be broken so that stress can no longer get a hold on you.

Verstoorde werkrelatie werknemer

Training and coaching

Milltain provides training and coaching for private individuals and organisations. Our team consists of 35 coaches and trainers who have now helped thousands of people struggling with stress and burnouts.

Milltain for private individuals:

Are you stuck in life because of stress or a burnout? We developed an effective online program that is fully focused on the complete recovery from a burnout. More than 2000 people have successfully completed this training!

Movement and nature play prominent roles in this training. Recovery is a process that contains peaks and troughs, and that’s something we know all about. Our highly experienced coaches provide you with active support.

Learn more: Stress and burnout coaching

Milltain for organisations:

With the help of a team of experienced trainers, Milltain supports organisations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. A single burnout can easily cost an organisation € 70,000 (or more!)

In addition to financial suffering, the human suffering is great. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before long, you find yourself in a negative vicious circle.

Get long-term absence and stress among employees under control with the help of our highly effective team training via Zoom or a similar tool.

This training has proven to be an international success for both managers (leadership skills) and employees (dealing with stress).

Learn more: Online team training

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About the author
My name is Ruud Meulenberg. Owner and founder of Milltain and Meulenberg Training & Coaching.
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