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  • GETSenPhaseLO display tagshide tags

    This collection is included inLens: Siyavula: Life Orientation (Gr. 7-9)
    By: Siyavula

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Stress symptoms

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

LIFE ORIENTATION

Grade 8

HANDLING STRESS

Module 9

STRESS SYMPTOMS

Activity 5:

One often feels tense about something, for example about a test. When the moment of tension has passed, one relaxes again. Sometimes one just doesn’t feel well, but one doesn’t really know what is wrong. If you are always shaky, or you have a constant head

ache, you must first go to the doctor to make sure that there is not some physical cause for your condition. Many teenagers grow very fast and sometimes suffer from anaemia, which can make one feel tired or run-down. If the doctor can find nothing wrong with you, it is wise to consider whether there is something that is troubling you. Consider the stress factors and decide whether there are things that are upsetting your general well-being.

Answer the following questionnaire to see whether your stress levels are low, medium or high. Remember that this is not a standardised test and it is therefore not a diagnosis, but merely an indication.

This is how it works:

  • There are two scales: A and B. The A scale indicates how severe it is (the intensity) and the B scale indicates how often it occurs (frequency). Both A and B will have high scores if the stress levels are high.
  • 4 = almost unbearable (A) and almost always (B)
  • 3 = very disturbing (A) and frequently (B)
  • 2 = noticeable (A) and regularly (B
  • 1 = not disturbing (A) and sometimes (B)
  • 0 = What are you talking about
Table 1
Symptom   A score B score
  • anxiety
     
  • sweaty palms
     
  • headaches
     
  • shoulder and neck pain
     
  • nausea
     
  • stomach aches
     
  • sleep badly
     
  • sleep too much
     
  • always tired
     
  • irritable
     
  • drink or take drugs
     
  • feel alone, lonely
     
  • listless
     
  • tearful
     
  • can’t concentrate
     

Important: If you score many 4s in the A and the B columns, do yourself a favour and talk to an adult you can trust. It could be a parent, a teacher, a minister, pastor or grandparent. You could also take this list to a psychologist or your family doctor. He / she could ask you to give more information and then help you. You don’t have to go about under a dark cloud of anxiety and tension, because there are many plans that can help you. This module will offer you some of these plans. But remember: don’t try to bear your worries on your own. There are people who will gladly help you. Just ask!

  • Read on.

Let us look at some of the symptoms more closely

1. Anxiety. Do you feel as if you are being chased by something all the time? Do you feel that there is not enough time in your day for you to do all your chores? Maybe it would help if you made a list of all the things that worry you, and then draw a line through each one with a nice thick pen as soon as you get it out of the way. Orga

nisation is the password here. Take control over the things that worry you. If you feel so anxious, it also means that you can’t really concentrate on important tasks (and school work). That in turn leads to trouble with teachers and parents, not so?

2. Aches and pains. When a person is very tense, your muscles become stiff and sore. You can even get a stomach ache, because the stomach is an involuntary muscle. It is good to do some exercise, because that causes your body to secrete endomorphins which make you feel better.

3. Problems with sleeping. If you are very tense, you may not be able to sleep, or other

wise you may fall asleep, but wake up every now and then. That means that you will be even more tired and stressed the following day. It is important that you follow a routine so that your sleeping pattern can normalise. Take a warm bath and drink a glass of milk before bedtime. A few drops of lavender oil in the bath or on your pillow will help you to fall asleep. Don’t do anything strenuous before you go to bed. If you know what it is that you are worrying about so much, tackle the problem long before bedtime.

4. Fatigue. Are you always tired, even if you sleep quite well? Have you been to see the doctor about a blood test to eliminate the possibility of anaemia and other causes? When one has experienced stress over a long period of time, one’s “reserves” become depleted. You are like a battery that cannot recharge. We will come to methods that can be applied to improve this condition.

5. Tearful, irritated? All people do not react in the same way when they experience stress. Young girls are inclined to be tearful, while young men feel irritated and become angry at the slightest provocation. We are going to look at solutions for excessive stress in the rest of this module.

[LO 3.1, 3.2]

Assessment

Table 2
Learning outcomes(LOs)
LO 3
Personal DevelopmentThe learner will be able to use acquired life skills to achieve and extend personal potential to respond effectively to challenges in his or her world.
Assessment standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
3.1 analyses and discusses factors which influence self-concept formation and self-motivation;
3.2 reflects on appropriate behaviour in different kinds of interpersonal relationships;
3.5 designs and implements a personal plan for preventing and managing stress.

Memorandum

Activity 5:

  • Stress symptoms; A and B scale (put into perspective)

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