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Stress: 40 years ago vs. Today...more today?


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Just another interesting article I found...it made me think:

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The basis of the article is

"The death of a friend, getting laid off or having a baby takes more adjustment than in the past, according to a study that compares perceptions of life changes today vs. 40 years ago.


'Life just gets more demanding. Today's life is more stressful,' says Richard Rahe of Salem, Ore., a psychiatrist who in 1967 co-created the Life Changes Stress Test (also known as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale), which is now widely used in stress management."



My question is do you agree? Why or why not?

Just opening up a discussion here, all opinions are welcome.


I personally haven't thought it out all the way, but so far I tend to disagree.

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I suspect any single event is no better or worse now than 40 years ago.


However, I suspect it's more likely people are dealing with more "single events" at any given time than 40 years ago.


There's also that perception thing -- people like to believe life was "better" back in the day and that things are more difficult now.


Put another way -- when someone else slips on a banana peel, it's comedy. When I slip on a banana peel, it's tragedy.

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I think there is an expectation today that life will give us more than what people had expectations for 40 years ago.


I know 40 years ago, you bought a washer and dryer and hoped it lasted 30 years, you never thought of "wanting" a new one. I know the community I grew up in, most were really happy with their job, that they had one for their families. There was little talk of that job giving them more and small little houses were the norm. Shared bedrooms, things like that.


I also think life and death changes were more accepted, maybe due to the value systems in place there and the predominate religious beliefs. I also think that as a whole the country was more rural then, life and death is generally better accepted in rural areas, I think because day to day living with livestock and farm animals reminds of that cycle of life and death.


I was surprised by the information on divorce as from what I saw growing up, a divorce was a huge thing for a couple then.


I do think as a society we were tougher then, as a whole I think we have too much expectations today. Now, we want what we want and we want it now! That is stressful.


I know growing up, more people were more stoic than what I see now, but you have to remember, I started my childhood without TV, and two channels of black & white up through high school.

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I think we got a lot more psychiatrist and mental health workers than past in ratio of the population and they like to think people are in trouble more now...otherwise, they would not have jobs plus 40 years ago, people were much close to their families than now because of jobs and not needing health professionals as we do now...since no body around to cry too!





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Life was a great deal simpler 40 years ago. People had more basic respect for each other. Of course, things have improved as far as Civil Rights and such. Still, families were closer then and more relationships seemed to work out. You didn't need a college education to be successful, either. Only one parent on our block had a degree, yet we lived in a nice middle class city. Neither my mother nor my father had a high school diploma and yet my father made enough to support my mom and us three kids.

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I think that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I recently read an article about how much scarier the world is today for children, and how much more parents have to worry, and I disagree. People used to be lucky if all of their children survived. Disease was rampant, not to mention the dangers of living in either a rural or an urban area. I think humans are prone to think that whatever is happening to them at any given moment is worse than it's ever been for anyone else.


I also think this is a product of hyper self-awareness that has evolved from having lots more time to think (due to decreased physical activity).

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I think humans are prone to think that whatever is happening to them at any given moment is worse than it's ever been for anyone else.




They're also prone to romanticize past eras they either never lived in or were very young when that era was "current."


So, despite all the technological conveniences we have, all the medical advancements we have, and so on...this is obviously the Worst Time Ever.

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The influx of information and socialization has increased greatly since I was a child. When I grew up, I had a group of friends, we rode our bikes everywhere, and everyone knew everybody. Now, living in the same town, I can go to the mall and meet more new people in an hour than I would in a month growing up.


300 channels of tv showing everything from 24 hour news to 24 hour cartoons is mind boggling compared to the three channels I had growing up. I can literally spend days on the internet surfing from site to site learning more than I ever could at the library.


There is so much more information to keep up with and so much more social interaction than when I grew up that it can become quite stressful at times. As an example, my aunt died a few months ago. It was a long drawn out death of lung cancer that put alot of stress on all of us who were taking care of her. At one point, my father, my mother, my older sister, and myself were over at my aunt's house while the hospice worker was there. My mother was watching CNN, my dad was on the computer looking up meds, my older sister was on her cell phone attempting to tell one of her employees how to do something, my cell phone started ringing, as did the hospice nurse's, and the microwave started dinging because someone's food was done. My aunt shot up in bed (and mind you, at this point she could barely move) and started yelling for everybody to get out. We all sat there stunned and looking at each other. Then it dawned on us how much was going on at the time and how stressed we all were. The day she died, I was in a fog, like happens when a loved one dies. I had 43 calls to my cell phone from friends and family from that day alone.


I would have to agree with the authors summation.

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I agree with the previous poster that information overload and too many gadgets on which to get that information, increase stress but since I choose to use most of them (in certain ways they do make my life easier) I am also to blame. When one of my best friends died 4 years ago it was easier to find information about her quickly - meaning the lovely obits that were written in the papers about her - another friend sent me a copy that day by e-mail which wouldn't have been possible the year I was born. And more ways of getting and staying in touch added support at a time when I needed it.


So I agree and disagree. Interesting post!

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