Fresh Living

Fresh Living

Quiz: Are You Super-Stressed?

We all have stress in our lives, right?  And that’s as it should be–a moderate level of stress helps us do good things like strive to achieve at work, work to make relationships stronger, and–let’s not forget the fight-or-flight classic–run from any saber tooth tigers that might be chasing us.

Chronic, unchecked stress, however, is a different story.  When our “fight-or-flight” reflexes are in perpetual hyper-drive, we suffer from everything from depression to chronic pain to serious illnesses.  

Roberta Lee, MD, has a terrific new book out that can help you cope if you have what she calls “SuperStress.”  We just published a lovely gallery of 11 tips for lowering SuperStress, and below, she’s been kind enough to share a 5-minute, 20-question quiz to help you figure out if SuperStress is your diagnosis. 


Fair warning, though–I just took the quiz and discovered myself to display all 5 “Types” of SuperStress below.  Sigh, we sensitivos are certainly on a journey, aren’t we.  Let’s keep on that journey, together.  Deal?

Do You Have SuperStress? Take the 5 Minute Quiz to
Find Out

By Roberta Lee M.D.,
Author of The SuperStress Solution

The SuperStress Solution is all about understanding the toll stress
takes on you personally and developing strategies for managing it. Once
you are aware of the ways in which stress affects you and you begin to
follow the steps of my solution, you’ll notice that the inevitable
stress in your life will affect you less both physically and
emotionally. With self-awareness comes stress resilience. In other
words, the SuperStress Solution is a plan that is designed to work in
conditions where stress doesn’t just go away.


Get started by
filling out the following questionnaire. It won’t take much time at
all, but will help you better understand what you’re experiencing, and
determine your individual level and type of SuperStress so that you can
personalize your management plans.

Respond to each question, using the following 4-point scale:
0 = Never
1 = Rarely
2 = Sometimes
3 = Often

  1. How often do you feel like you are getting sick? ____
  1. How often are you eating on the run (at your desk working, while
    driving or walking)? ____
  1. How often during meals and meetings do you respond to emails/text
    messages on your PDA or cell phone? ____
  1. How often do you skip meals because you are too busy to eat? ____
  1. How often do you feel that watching TV is the most relaxing
    activity you do? ____
  1. How often are you forgetful? ____
  1. How often do you feel tired during the day? ____
  1. How often do you feel that your life is out of control? ____
  1. How often do you have trouble focusing? ____
  1. How often do you lie awake at night ruminating? ____
  1. How often do you have a difficult time sitting still? ____
  1. How many times do you feel exhausted and can’t seem to recover —
    no matter how much rest you get? ____
  1. How many times do you find yourself reading the same paragraph
    over and
    over and feeling increasingly frustrated that you just “don’t get it”?
  1. How often do feel like you are close to tears or sensitive to the
    criticism of others? ____
  1. How often do you try to do everything yourself? ____
  1. How often do you feel you are fighting a losing battle trying to
    up with your kids’ sports schedule, French lessons, dental appointments
    and homework or your own work deadlines?____
  1. How often do you have two or more major problems that you can’t
    seem to resolve? ____
  1. How often do you feel as if your stomach is tied up in knots? ____
  1. How often are you canceling social engagements or family outings
    to finish a work project? ____
  1. How often do you find yourself angry and annoyed with
    others-including those at home? ____

Are you stressed?
Tally your answers to all 20 questions.
Based on your total, see how you fall into the following categories:


Not stressed: 4 or less
Somewhat stressed: 5-8
Stressed: 9-12
SuperStressed: 12+

What stress type are you?
are generally five SuperStress personality types, each identifiable by
the way you behave and respond to stress. Many of you, however, may see
that your behavior corresponds to more than one type.

For each
category below, tally your answers for the listed questions and circle
the one with the highest total. That is your stress type. In the case
of a tie, your behavior may correspond to both stress types.

Probably Not your type:
Could be your type: 1- 2
Probably your type: 3-4


Total for questions 12 and 16 ___Type I
Total for questions 13 and 17 ___Type II
Total for questions 14 and 18 ___Type III
Total for questions 15 and 19 ___Type IV
Total for questions 11 and 20 ___Type V

Type I: Burned Out, Exhausted, Numb, Depressed

you find yourself struggling to keep your thoughts from drifting at
meetings or at home? Instead of enjoying your family after work, do you
more often long for the end of the day and a few minutes to yourself?
If the answers to these questions are yes then you may have developed
into a Type I: Burned Out, Exhausted, Numb and Depressed type.

Type II: Agitated, Can’t Concentrate, Overwhelmed by Life
and irritable to distraction? Do you have days when your agitation is
so great that you’re distracted by your own restlessness? Are you
dreaming of the days when sleep came easily to you, well then you are a
typical Type II.


Type III: Emotionally sensitive
Type III
people are emotionally vulnerable or especially sensitive to criticism.
This person’s exhaustion has drained them of their sense of humor. They
tend to be weepy or melancholy. If you find yourself in this
assemblage, I’m guessing that every little stressor potentially finds
its way directly to your stomach. Every knock to your self-esteem
creates an emotional turmoil that impacts your digestion.

Type IV: Driven, Controlling
you’re a Type IV person, you are first-rate at setting a goal and going
at it full steam ahead until that goal is reached. But there’s a flip
side of that achievement: Type IVs are generally work-obsessed, so,
after a while, goal achievement, over-attention to detail, and a
tendency toward micromanagement become the only way they can handle
situations that feel out of control.


Type V: Explosive, Can’t Slow Down
are many people in this world who are Type Vs, no matter what their
occupation; people in whom SuperStress creates aggressive behavior and
results in a lack of resilience when it’s needed most. Type Vs
essentially use every means possible to keep things going at an
ultrafast pace — living on coffee, caffeine enhanced colas or other
stimulant providing, sugar laden foods. SuperStress creates a situation
in which for this person there is little tolerance for mistakes. When
they do occur, mistakes often provoke an explosive — out of proportion
to the issue at hand — reaction.

By helping readers identify
their level and type of stress, The SuperStress Solution will provide
personalized strategies for managing it. The book contains a more
extensive version of the questionnaire you just completed, which will
enable readers to get even more tailored results. In addition, we’ll be
allowing users to take the typing portion of the questionnaire online
so they can easily tally their results and jump right into the 4-week
SuperStress Solution program.


Take the longer quiz online at:

To reduce stress, and avoid SuperStress, try
this today:

Simple as it sounds; focused breathing — during which you think about
your breath as you inhale and exhale — is a very effective
stress-management technique. A slow, full breath triggers physical and
cognitive changes that promote relaxation. Deep breathing helps release
tension and anxiety and is a great energizer because the deeper the
breath, the more your body is flooded with life-fueling oxygen. A full
breath begins with the diaphragm pushing downward so that the stomach
extends out. As your lungs fill with air, your chest expands. When you
exhale, the reverse occurs — your chest settles first and then your


  • When anxiety strikes or you find yourself focusing on
    thoughts, immediately exhale through your mouth.
  • Now, open your lungs, and breathe in through your nose,
    in a fresh, cleansing air to the count of four.
  • Exhale again slowly to the count of five.
  • Repeat four times.

Copyright © 2009 Roberta Lee M.D.,
author of The SuperStress Solution

Roberta Lee, M.D., author of The SuperStress Solution, is
vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine, director of
Continuing Medical Education, and co-director of the Fellowship in
Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel’s Continuum Center for Health and
Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Lee
attended George Washington University Medical School and is one of the
four graduates in the first class from the Program of Integrative
Medicine at the University of Arizona conducted by Andrew Weil, M.D.

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  • John

    While I agree that I probably have too much going on for my own good, I am somewhat dubious about how this particular quiz is organized.
    While I can’t provide data to prove my hypothesis, I think it is IMPOSSIBLE to have ANY level of responsibility for ANYTHING and NOT come out as superstressed according to the ranking system presented by Dr. Lee.
    In other words, with a family and a job, of course one will “rarely” experience at least 12 of the things on this list. Life with a spouse, kids, job, extended family, friends, etc, has its hills and valleys that will find you occasionally lying awake at night, overwhelmed with responsibilities, etc. If not, then you’d be totally disengaged.
    One problem may be that none of these questions is time-phased against any other. I’m OK with everything on this list applying to me “rarely” – it’s just important that they don’t all occur at once. The alternative is a boring existence that leaves no mark.
    So I say fear not your high score. I think we’re OK.

  • Kathy

    I’m a licensed counselor and agree with John. This quiz, it seems designed so that anyone would come out as “super stressed” – a label that is likely to cause more stress to the taker. Is this a marketing ploy designed to sell more books? I’m not saying there are not elements of truth in these categories, etc. but come on already.

  • ~ karen

    I’m a licensed registered allied health professional, who can answer 2’s and 3’s on way, way too many of the focus and management related questions, secondary to having had cancer treatment and never really getting beyond the way it has affected me. Chances are, anyone like me who can answer yes to those questions are looking at this because they already find it to be distressing and knew it before taking the quiz. Alright is just not whats going on here for me, a lot of the time, and still I have to meet expectations. I think thats the point. To find ways to lessen the stress by looking at making adjustments to one’s perspective and behavior.
    While you are probably right Paul, about the intent to sell books… we knew that, too. I’m glad you guys are good! I miss that!
    xo, ~ k

  • Joanna Leilani Shimabukuro

    I am very stressed because of all the things im going through being separated from my husband and also moving from a 2-bedroom to a studio because i couldnt pay my rent on time but its not my fault i feel because i didnt receive my income for the past two months and if i had it i would have payed for it now me and my 15 year old son will have to sleep in the parlor and thats no privacy for him or me at all cant wait to move out of here and have my own place i can call home.

  • pete

    I thought this was going to be for real , but these are like the 500 question psychological evaluation test .. Do you like sports magazines ?
    Do you feel as if you are in control of your life ?
    These questions could have a variety of answers .. I used to like sports magazines , would drag racing qualify as a sport ? and would a magazine about drag racing be a sports magazine ? But I dont buy them anymore
    2nd question No i dont feel as if Im in control of my life cause i believe in a higher power .. If I do believe im in control of my life then I think that would produce even more stress ..
    Actually i was sitting in the hot tub thinking I dont have a care in the world .. But Im sure that will change now that I have taken this test

  • Anna

    Will the stressed results on me are 33 and I answerd all 20 so that means that Im Super Stressed out! so Im with no job and I need help where can I go to get help with no drugs.. Im just got lay off a year a go and when to school for a new cereer and Im 50 and I know Im stressed out but Im haed of house hold so the family look up to me..

  • Myrna

    I’m super stressed right now about something in my life. I’m with no job now also. And I think that I’m really scared of the way this economy is at this time. I wish we had a better person to run this country of ours. It’s as if We the people are to just depend on each other and make things happen.
    THe way that jobs are coming nowadays make any person depressed too. So, I have to think positive that I will get a job and just keep going thinking positive.

  • Your Name

    I did the stress test but what’s the point of it?
    You get to the end and it tells how stressed you, ok?
    No solutions, this article was not helpful at all.

  • Daniel Jason James

    With looking at the various descriptions given, I would see I, II, & III as being the ones in which are more close to describing the inner me.

  • Michael

    This is nuts; I had a few 0s, several 1s and a single 2–for a total of 15.
    I see my life as rather stress-free and I’m very calm and collected. Apparently, I don’t know myself.
    What bunk.

  • dont blame me

    hopefully I will be less stressed after the elections this November….God Bless America

  • Brian

    Scored a 42…I must need a vacation.

  • Stressed out

    Mine was 43 total…guess that means I am a little stressed out..but, I guess all I have to do is breathe. I dont like where this country has been heading..just breathe.

  • Al

    Check here your stress status :))

  • Dolarslave

    my score was 39
    I knew my # would be high.
    What can I do, its life and its not easy

  • Al

    I got a 35. did anyone get anything low enough not to be totally stressed? can’t even imagine getting a 4 or less. do these people live in a bubble and are handfeed everything? life would suck without a bit of stress i think

  • matt

    got 41, alittle stressed.

  • waystressed

    score 50, stress always. if i knew how to make life less stressful I would sure do it. alas, i am doomed to be a nervous wreck!

  • typeII-IV

    got 47… Im so young for this… lol lol

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