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Author Topic: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)  (Read 284 times)

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Offline Paws

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How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« on: August 29, 2014, 05:29:43 PM »
Alright, here's the deal. I am a follower of Pickthebrain because of the amazing articles it has. However, this one got me a bit on edge with all these doom'n'gloom information. I ask you guys, veterans of the anxiety war, how true are these 'facts'? To me, it sounds more like a ploy to get more attention. If I know one good thing about the human body, it's that it adapts. Even anxiety is a defensive measure to protect us from bad stuff, even if it's not working as intended 90% of the times xD.

So, can our body turn against us? Obviously stress is less than desirable for our bodies, but can it actually do everything mentioned below? I've read in many places how anxiety cannot kill you, but this lady seems to think otherwise.  Is she right? Is she wrong? Maybe a bit in between? Please share your thoughts. We all are here to become our better selves and get rid of anxiety because it's obviously not a pleasant company.

Link to the full article--> http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/stress-slowly-killing-avoid/

Excerpt from the article:

Quote
This is how stress can kill you.

First of all, stress speeds up the aging process in your body, particularly your blood vessels. As we stress, our blood pressure hits the roof. High blood pressure damages cells in the artery walls making them thick and stiff.

This restricts blood flow and our heart is forced to work harder to pump blood throughout our body. The more we stress, the more we damage our blood vessels.

As a result, you can experience:

    A heart attack as blood struggles to get to the heart
    A stroke, as high blood pressure can cause blood vessels to burst

Did you know that stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, a heart attack by 25% and a stroke by 50%?

Pretty shocking isnít it?

But wait, stress can also cause your brain to shrink!  Extreme stress events reduce the amount of grey matter in our brain, mostly in the areas related to our emotions and psychological functions. Not only does this shrink your brain, it can also lead to psychiatric problems.

Stress can also cause;

    The immune system to shut down
    A reduce in white blood cells, and
    An increased susceptibility to disease

Believe it or not, but stress is the basic cause of 60% of all illness and disease. Three out of four people who visit the doctor are there because of stress related illnesses.

By now, I imagine that you are feeling determined to lower the amount of stress in your life.

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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2014, 05:34:39 AM »
I wouldn't be paying much attention to such articles. I have had anxiety issues for over 20 years and I am still alive and well. Just finished a whole series of tests and they told me I was in healthy shape. Various scans and x-rays. Different people will have different views about everything. But I have seriously never heard of one case were stress was given as the cause of death. I always tell people, that no matter how bad they might be feeling, try get a small bit of exercise in daily. Even a small walk. This will help to maintain your health. Granted if you smoked 20 a day. Ate junk food for every meal. Never done any form of exercise at all. Stayed on the couch, morning, noon and night. Your health would decline. But that would not be from stress. That would be from the lifestyle you are living. So I would disagree that stress alone could kill a person.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2014, 08:03:13 AM »
This is brilliant. Thank you for sharing. My brother died a horrible, long, painful, drawn out death from stress. No doubt about it. Don't know how this can be proven, but it is no doubt true. It is the underlying cause of other manifestations.

Not sure how we can disentangle stress, anxiety, depression, phobias, etc. and the damage they can cause. I don't mind dying, but not the way my brother did. So I try to avoid stress as if I'm walking on eggs. To de-stress I walk, do yoga, tai chi, meditate twice a day, journal.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2014, 08:36:55 AM »
I should say it can be an underlying cause of other manifestations. Each case must be looked at carefully. In our case, we were virtually born into horrible stress which continued and accrued over a lifetime. The damage is cumulative, as I see it. This is actually the first time anyone else is acknowledging what I have thought for years. It took my dear brother 5 horrifying years to finally succumb. He lives in me every day.

The article also gives good suggestions on how to relieve stress. I need to add, "Control your thoughts." Factors into CBT and ACT. Requires constant attention because the brain will revert to the mean, the original conditioning. This is very stimulating to the old brain. Hope I don't keep returning to amend the post as I keep thinking about this.
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Offline Paws

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2014, 09:03:13 AM »
Well, if you took action to better your life and your brother didn't, I guess you're on the right path. One pet peeve I have with that article is that it places too much emphasis on how dangerous stress is. It scares you good so you'll be more motivated to follow the guidelines, which is in itself a ploy make you get invested in those exercises. I'm not saying they're bad, but I did my fair share of reading on anxiety and stress and avoidance is not an encouraged behavior. You need to come to terms with the underlying issue of your stress and solve it from there. For example, I don't think fear is a good motivational factor, and that's what that article is trying to do.

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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2014, 09:21:45 AM »
My mother eventually died of "stress", with her immune system failing her.

But... stress and it the anxiety it becomes is treatable.  My mother -- and her doctors, much like doctors today-- did not realize that stress was behind many of her physical ailments, including a "bad back", for which she had  a failed surgery, migraines, and Sarcoidosis and many other things.   My mother,  since her youth,  had learned how to react to stressful situations in the wrong way.  This carried with her her entire life. 

Anxiety and stress are learned behaviors, so once a person recognizes that their reactions are not what they should be, or develop classic anxiety symptoms, then you can start to "unlearn" the behavior.  It is not an overnight process.  I inherited the same bad behaviors; or rather, I learned by observing.  It got me into severe, life-threatening trouble and the wish to end my life at my own hand due to the severity of the pain.  Fortunately, I found help; not in a live doctor or threapist, unfortunately, but by a long dead one. God bless you, Dr. Low, wherever you are....

The Wisdom of Dr. Low has some direct answers to this:  http://youtu.be/oSdSCvJwOzU


Peace, no matter what the situation, is under your control -- with practice.

Good luck everybody!
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Offline tinam7

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 09:33:19 AM »
Agree with your observations and reaction. But isn't it better to be aware of the dangers than to live in ignorance? If you look into ACT, it teaches about Acceptance and Commitment. Exactly as you say, "...come to terms with the underlying issue of your stress...." That will help you as you try to incorporate the suggestions.

My brother and I were in ignorance, I'd say. It all occurred to me over time and mostly after his death, as I kept thinking and thinking. Also I tend to think it can turn lethal only after many years. You are young, nothing to worry about but only to benefit. You can learn to incorporate some of the suggestions into your daily life.

Beautiful post by NeverAgain2.
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Offline raindrops300

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2014, 12:17:19 PM »
I've been on a GAD, panic disorder, and depression medical disability diagnosis since 1994 and have no major health problems.  I have no cardiac issues.  What I consider my only related health issue is being overweight and bordering on diabetes.   

Everyone is different though. 

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Offline tinam7

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 12:19:08 PM »
Now had a chance to see the video. Very soothing, even entertaining, to learn some very good points.

Abraham Low wrote books too and our library has a few. He died some years ago but is surely worth looking into. Thank you for sharing the reality about your mother, your difficult time, and introducing us to Dr. Low.
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Offline Paws

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2014, 01:56:13 PM »
I agree with you Tina. It's a lot better to be informed about the nature of the beast. Only after you learn how it operates you can find ways to deal with it. I've been trying to do that (on and off, and only on my own) ever since I had a serious anxiety attack two years ago. I believe I made some steps to improvement even if days feel like a roller-coaster. I can't say I ever had a bigger streak of good/bad days than 3 or 4. It's weird how this works. I can worry about silly things for 3 days straight and have nasty symptoms, and when I wake up on the fourth BAM I feel like my old self, full of energy, motivation, and eagerness to get things done. I should fix myself a schedule and take the fight back to cousin Anx, but I still live with my family and that is rather inconvenient :D. I am also 23 years old at the moment and as healthy as I can be, even if small headaches or faster heartbeat might send me worrying about deeper implications, I think those are unwarranted. I have been exercising a lot mroe than I did in my youth and eat relatively healthy, so I have that going for me :)

@Neveragain: Thank you very much for the link. It was very inspirational and motivating, and even if I knew most of those tips, it's never bad to be reminded of them. With anxiety, it's easy to look track of the goals and the good things you have going for you :D

@Raindrops: True that. Anxiety is a form of self-defense, so I guess what Cuchculan said is mostly true. If you allow your stress to keep you indoors and make bad choices for you, then yeah...it will get to you eventually.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: How true is this article? (Stress CAN kill you)
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2014, 02:39:53 PM »
Yes, we can revert to Cuch, the smartest one around. Helps everyone too.

As I think (Paws, you like to think too, are smart too, and creative, and a joy) about this issue, perhaps it comes to a chicken and egg question. What comes first? Stress? Fear? Worries? Brain chemistry? Childhood? Lack of trust in ourself? Anxiety? Panic? Depression? I'll put stress as a starter. But, as raindrops says, we are all different (but yet alike).
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