Women, Firefighters Register High Levels Of StressS

Feeling stressed? Maybe it's because you put out raging fires for a living. Or maybe you're just a lady.

Continuing with her series of depressing statistics divided into groups of fifteen, Anneli Rufus offers fifteen stats on the most stressed people ever. A lot of the findings are unsurprising: firefighters are "more than five times as stressed as librarians, janitors, and piano tuners," probably because their jobs involve running into burning buildings. Rufus doesn't address the stress levels of military service members, but she does note that their kids are more stressed-out than average, at least while parents are deployed. Perhaps more surprising but still saddening: Rufus writes, "more than half of women who have had abortions meet the DSM-IV criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder." In this case, the study authors note that women who perceived their abortion as traumatic might have been more likely to volunteer for the study, and that since their sample included a high percentage of abuse victims, traumatic prior experiences may also have influenced the development of PTSD.

Women who have abortions may have been more likely than average to suffer from post-traumatic stress, but women in general are slightly more stressed-out than men — 28% of women report being greatly stressed, compared with 20% of men. Here, Rufus quotes author Jay Winner: "Keep in mind that this is self-reported stress. Men could think of themselves as weak by admitting to be suffering from stress. Additionally, women, especially working mothers, do tend to take on multiple stressful roles." Like, apparently, that of wife: 33% of married women report high stress, compared with 22% of single ladies. Says author Fredric Luskin, "A lot of married women are stressed because they have to nurture their partners emotionally and they're not getting the same thing in return. Those husbands aren't pulling their weight." Married or unmarried, abortion or not, here's a sobering statistic from the PTSD study: "the lifetime prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for U.S. women is approximately 13%." More than one in ten women will develop PTSD in her lifetime? That, in itself, is stressful.

Who's The Most Stressed? [The Daily Beast]

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