• Mental and behavioural disorders account for 19% of the global burden of disease - WHO
    • It is estimated that nearly 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioural disorder in the world - WHO
    • Nearly 10% of total population suffers from these disorders - WHO
    • Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
    • Nearly 1% of the Indian population suffer from serious mental & behavioural disorders and 10% from moderate disorders, requiring psychiatric help.
    • By 2020 mental depression will be largest cause of disabilty worldwide and by 2025 it may overtake heart diseases as the biggest health concern - WHO
    • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14 - WHO
    • Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents are estimated to have mental disorders or problems - WHO

What does one do when one gets some physical problem?We go to the doctor and then he uses some measure to check the degree of problem we have eg. If one has high BP, one gets blood pressure measured or if one has Diabetes one gets blood sugar tested .Subsequently, medical help is given, as per the reading with that doctor of either the BP or sugar. However, there are no such accurate tests / biomarkers available for measuring stress.

Scientifically, it becomes very challenging for us to measure the level of stress or to understand the degree of stress one is facing.

For you to understand the concept of stress measurement, I have thought of a colorful band which comprises of green, yellow, orange & red colors.

  • Normal
  • Manageable
  • Moderate
  • Severe

While green denotes no stress on one hand and red is the other extreme denoting maximum stress requiring professional help and blue/ yellow/ orange are in areas in between the two extremes i.e. normal & severe.

For example, in our life due to various challenges, responsibilities and aspirations, we can go from green zone to other zones either stepwise or sometimes even directly into the red zone which might take few hours, months or even years.

Many a times we may not realize this drift which could be very gradual in one case to sudden in another.

However, in my clinical experience of over 20 years, I have seen that if one gets the right guidance at the right time and gets the right professional help, one can retrace the path from red/ orange/ yellow/ blue band to green band through counseling &/or medicines.

Based on this color band, we can identify the level of stress in our lives as per the corresponding color and a tool like stress-o-meter can give us an idea about the color/ stress- zone we are in.

By answering few questions related to you and your life, we can actually have some idea of the level of stress in your life and based on your answers we can tell you which colour zone you are in!

Welcome to the world of Stress-o-meter! - by Dr. Sandeep Vohra. Click here to continue....