The Stress Cycle
This is one of the most common health hazards that nearly 70% people face at least once in their life time. It not only affects a person emotionally, but financially and physically as it triggers repeated visits to doctors, blood checkups and medications.
What is The Stress Cycle?
It can be described as the following:
• You get negative moods or emotions caused by problems in at home, workplace, traffic, or friends. This ultimately led to generation of negative stress.
• This negative stress increases the biological demand on the body. This causes changes in blood circulation and weakens body immune system.
The most common physical manifestations of stress are high blood pressure, allergies, regular headaches, common cold, fever, digestive problems, memory problems, sleep problems, weight gain, concentration problems, sexual difficulties, hair fall, skin problems (acne, lack of glow on the skin).
• Since the root cause of Stress is never treated, these aliments keep recurring over a short period of time.
• The presence of negative stress along with recurring physical aliment, introduce change in your personality. This gives rise to negative attitudes and behaviors towards others.
• The realization that your behavior towards others has altered leads to further increase in negative stress and generation of anxiety.
• This newly added negative stress and anxiety reinforce your negative moods or emotions resulting in a full circle of stress.
Most stress sufferers can identify this stress cycle in their lives. But find themselves helpless to prevent it or battle it.
How to Prevent It?
The core belief of ancient medical practices, like ayurveda, has been treating the root cause.
To treat the root cause it’s important to identify the root cause.
If you are someone who has one or more of the above mentioned physical aliment then it’s time to introspect.
It’s time for you to think about your stress, how it has been affecting you, and what can be done to prevent it.
What is effective Help?
Modern living has introduced the concept of “immediate-results” or “short-term benefits” into our society. If you have the money and means, you can buy what you want. Certainly we carry that same attitude when it comes to health. You have a headache you take a pill. You have a common cold you take 2 pills. You have bad stomach you take a pill and powder. But when it comes to stress you just let it be.
In short, you never cure the main cause. You explore a 1000 ways to deal with it. You might even start a few of them, but along the way you forget and return back to the 1st square.
Like a small child, you blame the world and then you blame god. Still there is no solution. Finally you give up, and sit as lame duck for clinical depression to eat you over.
Effective help is a long term method. It might include some initial short term ways of bringing your stress down, but it focuses on long term ways to conquer stress and break the stress cycle.
“ Vikram and his family had noticed a change in his personality over the last few months. The pressure of performance at work, and the stressful commute were taking toll on him. He had become more irritable, pessimistic and violent. A visit to his general physician for continuous headache revealed high blood pressure. At 33yr, he was a mild hypertensive. His doctor asked him to take anti-hypertensive medication for 6months. A few weeks after starting medication, he noticed stomach problems starting to develop. He again visited his doctor, who thought it too be an Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A new tablet was added along with his already on-going anti-hypertensive. A few months later, he showed hair fall. He visited a dermatologist who introduced another tablet into his diet.
All his doctors told him to keep the stress down. Unfortunately, he knew about it, but never worked upon it.
I met Vikram, nearly 3years after he had been diagnosed with High blood Pressure. He still continued the tablet. Which in today’s society is sort of fashionable to consume? He still had his Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and he had lost all his hair. When I met him, he was suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. That meant another pill to be added, but something that could be easily preventable.”
“Reshma was always a bold and beautiful girl. Her expectations from life were high. She wanted the best. A few years after her marriage, her personality started showing a change. She slowly became fearful, would dedicate most of her time taking care of her kids. Would involve herself in none productive work. Would spend time on the phone with her friends, or watching the T.V. slowly she gained a lot of weight, lost the glow on her face and skin started to sag. She visited a dermatologist for her skin treatment, when he suddenly happened to ask her about stress levels. She confessed to be feeling very lonely. Thou her family loved her she always felt more of the provider than the receiver of love.
She was referred for psychiatric help, which she never took.
5 yrs later, during one of her visits to India, she suffered a nervous breakdown. I was contacted by her family for a home visit. They wanted to keep the whole issue secret. I met her again at a coffee shop a few days after the incident. That’s when she told me, how she had been experiencing stress and its related physical aliment since more than 7yrs”.
“Shilpa was an amazing human being. She was always the first one to help others. This made her very popular among her peers and community. Being from a Punjabi background, she constantly faced the wrath of close family members for being over-weight. She had already been “rejected” by 5 prospective grooms because of her weight. Hundreds of thousands of rupees where spent on “helping” her become slim. From crash diets, to expensive slimming treatments, to liposuction, everything had been tried and failed. This issue had taken a dangerous effect on her mother. One day after battling it for few months, her mother walked into my clinic to seek treatment for severe depression that was forcing her towards suicidal thoughts. As Shilpa was accompanying her mother, I decided to psycho-analyze the young lady’s mind. It wasn’t soon before I found that she had a problem of compulsive eating. That was triggered by stress. Within 3 months Shilpa, lost 15kgs, and above all lost her stress. Today 9 months after I last met her, I daily bump into smiling, playful and cute pictures of her and her husband uploaded on Facebook”
Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PGDPM)