SUDS, no soap just distress

I delivered my homework to my counselor feeling pretty darn good about my efforts from my previous post. She looks it over, and says great now we can start the next step of defining these further.

Whatcha mean further? I thought we were done with these three categories?

She tells me about SUDS, the Subjective Units of Distress Scale. She wants me to go back through my list and rate each situation with a number between 0-100 for how much anxiety and distress I would experience if I attempted to complete the task.

100? All of the other scales usually go to 10 being the worst. I wondered why this one was different. I asked her for some benchmarks to help me rate, and she said I needed to determine those, thats the subjective part. Ummm, ok, sure, but what does anxiety or distress of 100 look or feel like? Is that a panic attack, or a trip to the E.R. or getting dizzy and leaving an event…

She said yes. It is whatever you say it is.

Fine. I will create my own scale. I may need to adjust this as I keep working to give myself better clues. I have been avoiding some fear causing situations so long that I am not in tune with how I feel exactly.

100-worst anxiety ever felt, my head and heart may explode, better back up everyone
90-extremely uncomfortable, cannot tolerate, dizzy, cannot breathe, choking, need to leave NOW
80-very uncomfortable, cannot speak, swirling thoughts, senses heightened, want to hide or get to my safe zone
70-uncomfortable, starting to sweat, dry mouth, might be able to push through it
60-struggling but can manage, no physical signs, ugly thoughts that i can control
50-moderate distress but is manageable with breathing, blood pressure may raise
40-mild stress with no interference, muscles tense, jaw tight
30-very mild stress, not bothered or hindered
20-extremely mild stress
10-no stress, not relaxed
0-completely relaxed, life is good, brain is good

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2 thoughts on “SUDS, no soap just distress

  1. Reminds me of my doctor asking me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10 when he pressed on my shoulder. I released a muffled scream. “7 or 8.”

    The nurse stared. “Only 7 or 8?”

    “8 I scream. 9 I throw up, and 10 I pass out.” Apparently others did not include passing out on their pain list.

    I’m curious as to where this is going.

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