The Psychiatric Institute of America just released a “White Paper” titled “Stress Factors in the Modern Age” – essentially, it is an analysis of the key stressors facing individuals in our modern times.  The paper is a little “dry”  – but I’m happy to pass along what I gleaned from it.

First of all, Jimi was right again – Manic Depression IS a frustrating mess!

But rather than going up against the finest guitar player to ever play a Strat thru a Masrshall stack, they conveniently, because they are the doctors, have left frustration and angst out of the equations — they really only focus on life events and external circumstances that cause stress.

There are a number of minor irritants, that they consider merely aggravating:  children, parents, so-called friends, the DMV, sports, television (in general), smokers, being hassled by non-smokers, politics, 3-D films, toxic waste, and flu-shots.

A little more serious are things like driving  – specifically, in commute traffic.  And, being a passenger with someone else driving.

Then, there’s a Top Ten list — I’ll go through it for you:

10. Unrelenting loud noise.  This makes sense, right?  RIGHT?

9. Money.  Financial circumstances are stressful, no doubt about that.

8. Working.  Work is stressful, because even if you are doing what you love, you HAVE to do it.

7. Vacations.  By the time your vacation is over, you’re finally relaxed enough to go on vacation.  Then, feeling good, you have to go back to work.  This one is not only stressful, but it is also unfair.

6. Marriage.  Yes, one’s personal relationship with one’s significant other takes work. (See #8) Enough said.

5. Divorce.  And, if you think being married is stressful, just try getting divorced.

4. Taxes.  Two things are certain in life. This is one of them.  Did you know that you don’t really have to pay taxes if you don’t want to?  Yes, it’s true!  You can always go to prison!  Much less stress there, right?

3. Death.  Here’s the other certainty.  This one is not optional.

2.  Moving.  Boxes, and boxes and boxes and boxes of all this crap! Whose idea was it to accumulate this much wretched excess?  Where did it come from?  Where is it going?  AUUUUUUUGHHHHH!

1. Public Speaking.  Here is the number one most stressful thing a human can do — attempt to speak in front of a group of people.

What the heck IS it about public speaking?  Could humiliation be that much worse than death?  Worse than moving?  I’m speechless.


Listen folks, I don’t make the news, I only report it.  Feel free to comment on what stresses you out most – privately if you like.

I’ll pass your comments back to the shrinks — maybe they’ll conduct a press conference and update their findings.  Probably not – speaking in public is too scary even for them…

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