Stress The Silent Killer
We all experience stress at one time or another. Sometimes stress is the result of major changes in our lives. Such as redundancy, debts, wayward offspring, marriage or even moving home.
At other times stress can be more chronic in nature, meaning that the effects can be long lasting, having been initiated years ago. How many times have you had an unpleasant incident? The initial incident happens once, but every time you think about it, its happening all over again, and if you tell someone about it, its happening all over again! So by the end of the week, you may have experienced or relived the same incident hundreds of times! Is it any wonder your stressed over it? And yet it happened only once!
(An estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues. )
Uncontrolled, it can lead to raised blood pressure, chest pains, headaches, insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome and many other symptoms. Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, smoking and or drugs to try and relieve their feelings.
- From the first puff of smoke, your blood pressure goes up by 20% and you have released adrenaline. (Smoking does not relax you!)
- Alcohol is a depressive substance, so if you are feeling down, this is not going to help anyone.
- Drugs recreational or prescribed only treat the symptom and not the cause, and their effect is temporary.
The six leading causes of death in the western world are either caused or exacerbated by stress.
- coronary artery disease
- respiratory disorders
- accidental injuries
- cirrhosis of the liver
- and suicide
Other conditions affected by stress multiple sclerosis, diabetes, herpes, mental health, alcoholism, drug abuse, family discord and violence.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Stress?
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Racing Thoughts
- Difficulty relaxing
- Low self-esteem
- Self-imposed Isolation
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Tense muscles
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Loss of Libido (sex drive or interest)
- Chest Pains
- Frequent colds and flus
- Cold and or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry Mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
- Constant worry
- Racing thoughts
- Lack of focus
- Poor judgement
- Pessimistic view on life
Behavioural symptoms of stress include:
- Eating too much or not enough
- Increased use of drugs (prescribed or reactional) alcohol, or cigarettes
- Exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail-biting, fidgeting, and pacing
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