Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stress Management

Sleeping It Off

If you have ever said any of the following statements you are under Stress!

"I am so mad, I can't see straight!"

" That's the straw that broke the camel's back!"

"If one more thing happens, I will scream!" 


I am a retired physical therapist with some forty years experience. I wrote a book on this subject, called Stress Management, Does Antone in Chicago Know About It? I traveled and spoke on this subject for several years. Many people I encountered as patients and those in my seminars, did not have a clue they were under stress. Stress can maim and if left untreated, it can kill! For anyone suffering from depression, severe stress can take a deadly toll. Depressed people who are under a constant stressor can commit suicide.


There is a huge difference between depression and being depressed. All of us feel depressed at times and get over it. Depression is a form of mental illness that has been called the 'common cold of psychiatry'. I disagree with this statement because I have suffered from depression most of my life. If you read my novel, The Shade Tree Choir, you will learn the specific origins to my depression. It originates from physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child from alcoholic parents and mentally ill mother.


In no way should we look at depression as a minor event. I compare a constant stress placed on a person with depression to a pressure cooker - not unlike what the two criminals used at the Boston Marathon. If that stress is not treated severe results may occur.

For nearly seven years, my wife and I were drug through the civil court system here in America, costing us tens of thousands of dollars to defend. We were sued by a couple who were after money! They stalled us for years hoping we would cave. We sold a house to them and they accused us of lying about some of the home conditions. They offered to stop the suit for money. In the seven years they lived in our area, they were involved with four other law suits (as near as I can remember). The night prior to the case to be heard by the judge, they dropped the suit! The damage had been done.

The stress from this, coupled with new a new job where the employer demanded unrealistic duties, was too much for me. My 'pressure cooker' exploded. If it were not for a painful shoulder, I might have succeeded in hanging myself! I was not able to secure the rope overhead. If I had been successful with this selfish act, I would not be sharing this with you! My message is tell those of you with depression, there is hope! There is a light at the end of a tunnel! To those of you who suffer from being depression at times, I hope to educate you on the causes and effects of stress.

People who suffer from depression are in good company. Some well-known people include Mark Twain, Dan Rather (newsman), Winston Churchill, and many others. Simply 'Google' the subject and you will be amazed. Depression is part of a neural pathway in the brain. Every experience in life establishes a neural pathway. The more often it is performed, the deeper the pathway. If someone like me, has depression for years the pathway is what we call 'hot'. That means it does not take much of a stressor to fire it off and become full blown. That is what happened to me during that lawsuit.

The effects from stress can lead to: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, circulatory dysfunctions, joint pain, digestive difficulties, cardiac problems, and endocrine problems like Type II diabetes. That is why stress management is so very important. Mark Twain once said, "Every person is like the moon and does not want to show his dark side."

Here are some easy and effective stress management techniques:

* Perform deep breathing exercises

* Learn to say, "No".

* Exercise daily

* Pull in to heal

* Sleep deprivation is harmful to our health

* Meditation, Yoga, and Tai Chi are great routines to combat stress

* Following a 'Treasure Map' can be a helpful tool

* Diet has a direct bearing on stress

* There are many medications that can help control depression and the stressors that contribute to it.

I purposely have not explained any of the techniques above. I want this Blog to be active, where the followers can dictate what they want me to write. Consequently, I shall wait until I hear from you. You can remain totally anonymous in the 'Comment Section' when you post. Tell me the subject you want to learn. It's that easy!

Be safe, Be well, and Love Life!

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