Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ills of stress

According to a new study, stress can have repercussions later in life in the form of chronic fatigue. People who considered their lives to be stressful at the start of the 1970s today suffer more often from chronic fatigue than others.

Chronic fatigue is a condition characterised by long-lasting and abnormal exhaustion, often accompanied by concentration impairment, mood swings, insomnia and pain in the muscles and joints. Despite extensive research, no root causes have been identified; all that scientists know so far is that it seems to appear across all ages and social classes in many different countries.

A research group from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has now been able to show that one of the direct causes of chronic fatigue is stress. Using the results from a health survey conducted among almost 20,000 twins from the Swedish Twin registry in 1973 and of a repeat survey of the same population in 1998 (which contained questions about chronic fatigue), the researchers found that the group who claimed to have stressful lives 25 years previously, ran a 65% greater chance of developing chronic fatigue than those who did not.

Meanwhile, senior gynaecologists and members of Bengal Obstetric and Gynaecological Society have observed that with the rapid change in lifestyle in the urban areas of the state, and particularly in Calcutta, and consequent excessive stress, infertility among men was increasing at a pretty fast rate. Infertility is now a problem for both women and men.


irving said...

Stress often leads to low grade depression, and can affact the reproductive life of an individual, as it lowers hormone levels, etc. Such things are known in many large cities, especially during rapid expansion. One of the side effects of progress, unfortunately.

Yves said...

Actually many people thrive on stress and go in for extreme sports or very competitive careers.

So I think we need to be more precise. I work professionally with sufferers from chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety, as you know, Rama. Not that I claim any special wisdom but I've had the chance to put my training into practice and see results.

Stress is the physical sensation of a conflict within ourselves, for example intellect or willpower versus emotion.

The problem comes when we "decide" to suppress the emotions as a way of trying to deal with the stress. I put "decide" in quotes because we don't experience a choice in the matter. We are just trying to cope.

Some people get chronic fatigue syndrome without any apparent excessive stress in their lives.

But the common factor is always emotions which have been over-ridden in order to cope with a situation. Perhaps we have been brought up to put up with things and not complain. Perhaps we have a low self-esteem so that we allow ourselves to be pushed around. Perhaps we suppress emotions through shame or pride.

Yves said...

Rama, Rama, I hope you are OK & not ill!

rama said...

Hullo! Thanks for your concern and good wishes Yves. I am alright!

Best, rama