Welcome to our special "stress" page. Let's learn about this complex area:
Stress is relevant for us all, even the healthiest of individuals. Stress can also be a common concomitant of anxiety, depression, mental illness and many neurological conditions such as seizures and headache. Stress makes virtually every condition worse, or may precipitate them and a whole group of medical diseases —the psychosomatic disorders and the somatopsychic conditions—are associated more with stress. And stress can be handled with the appropriate medical interventions.
Let's look at certain principles of stress:
1. Stressors need not always be distressing. Sometimes people experience pressure from what we call "good stress." Distress. Dis stress: Bad stress. Divorce, financial compromise, death of a close one, severe trauma, continual responsibilities, nursing an ailing close one. Good stress? Even marriage or buying a new house or winning the lottery or having a baby are all good acute stressors. These could elevate mood but at times precipitate a depression, or create difficulties handling the situation. Good stress is still stress.
2. Stress can happen acutely or chronically. Chronic stressors: Most common is job stress. But what about e.g. chronic marital, family and/or financial problems? What about chronic abuse, psychological or physical traumata? Acute stress: Sometimes links up with the condition of post-traumatic stress disorder. This may be one stressful event e.g. a significant accident or an attack; or it may be repetitive events of stressful kind such as exposure to killing or death in war situations.
3. Mind and body act together in stress and conditions often express themselves with both mind and body components. Psychosomatic == stressors of the mind express themselves as bodily conditions.
Traditionally asthma, dermatitis, peptic ulcer, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome (if structural changes) are examples.
Yet all of these could occur without stress. They are biological conditions.
Somatopsychic == bodily conditions express themselves as stressors of the mind.
Vicious cycles can easily occur. Cancers, heart disease. Patients can also make themselves into functional cripples, unable to cope because of their illnesses.
Stress can predispose us to virtually every medical condition we can imagine.
4. Stress is exceedingly common. In fact, stress related problems is likely a contributor to 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians.
5. Stress is linked with several biological changes, sometimes associated with the production of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. This reflects over-action of the sympathetic nervous system. These are meant to be compensatory to allow better "fight, flight and fright" responses. We can escape from the tiger, fight with it or run away. But today our tiger is the environment. With this heart rate and blood pressure increases, blood sugar rises compensating for other sources of energy breakdown of glycogen, fat and protein stores, blood is shunted away from the gastro-intestinal tract, away from digestion, to the muscles of the limbs for the fight or flight, and there may be an increased clotting tendency. We experience palpitations, sweating and the anguish of the mind ("angor animi). The pupils dilate ready to see all. On the other hand the parasympathetic nervous system may also be overactive. We have reactions like abdominal cramps or diarrhea, or we faint from vasovagal attacks and the blood pressure dropping and pulse slowing. And with these reactions come spasm of our skeletal muscles with muscle pain and stiffness. And an enormous sense of agitation in our anguish of the mind.
6.Physicians usually cannot change the environment sufficiently to alleviate the stress. And often this manifests with some kind of psychiatric disorder.But physicians can provide medications that can substantially lower it. In fact, we now recognize that most episodes of major depression / depressive disorder are initially associated with significant stressors. So treatment with appropriate antidepressants can help enormously. Stress aggravates virtually every psychiatric and neurological condition. Patients with seizure disorders are at greater risk with stress.
7. Stress is pervasive in our society.Fortunately, brain medications exist to help stress, depression, anxiety, seizures and a wide-variety of conditions.
We should recognize this wonderful side of medical science.
Help and hope and active discussion are at hand in Dr Vernon Neppe's latest book, Cry the Beloved Mind: A Voyage of Hope.
It has great value in reading. And to boot it covers so many different and meaningful medical dilemmas. What readers have regarded as a "must get" and "education through fascination." This book also pioneers a whole new literary genre, sciction making it a true classic. We cannot be certain but given this, the book likely to become a collector's item particularly if personally autographed. Incidentally this book is now only distributed through this web site, and comes autographed and if ordered online with $1 off!
Don't take our word for it. Read the opinions of others:
"More than a mere book, this is a voyage that can help thousands of lost souls with the awareness that given detailed evaluations, modern medicine can help even the most difficult of brain conditions." Jay Luxenberg MD, Internist, University of California Author of "Residential Care"
"This book is an essential contribution to mankind! ...a voyage of hope encapsulates the essential theme of this book - it offers enormous hope to mental sufferers and to practitioners as well. It should be made readily available in every library worldwide - every medical student, every potential and practicing psychologist, every social worker and all members of the general public who either suffer themselves or have family members who are suffering some form of mental disorder should read this book - - readers will be enriched and empowered. Dr. Neppe is indeed a genius who is able to share his wisdom in a sensitive and extremely palatable form. His contribution has the potential of saving many lives and dramatically improving the quality of life of many others. ...The best book I have ever had the privilege of reading!" Amazon.com Customer Review
Read the others thoughts, too, because this opinion is the common one. We have yet to have someone not finding this book valuable!