Over the years, we have evolved as a rapidly growing society. But, as our modern society develops, it brings responsibilities, pressures and burdens. The hustle and bustle of the fast-pacing world have created the worst enemy of the human mind and body, STRESS!
We all feel stressed to different limits. But, one thing we aren’t aware of is the severe repercussions it can have on our minds and bodies. Moreover, it can be a cause of various mental and physical health issues.
Moreover, chronic stress affects our performance in the workspace and in school. Thus, Team Vo! tapped in with some expert psychiatrists to dive deeper into its effects.
According to Dr Kalrav Mistry, Psychiatrist, Sexologist and De-Addiction Specialist at Shalby Hospitals, “Around 40% of people have some mental health issue, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc., due to the hectic lifestyle. But, in the last two years of the pandemic, the number has increased to 60-80%. Moreover, the most vulnerable age is between 18-45 years.”
Stress: What And Why?
Dr Vishwa Mohan Thakur, a Psychiatrist with 34 years of experience, told Vo!, “The hypothalamus in your mind (brain) controls the automatic bodily functions, including sleep, appetite, blood sugar levels, libido etc. When you experience stress, the hypothalamus produces powerful hormones.”
Unlike animals, humans feel stressed even in simple life situations like appearing for examinations. Ideally, we should reserve it for life-threatening cases, Dr Thakor adds. Thus, for human society, it is counterproductive to feel stressed. But, for animals, it is a life-saving mechanism.
Dr Mistry says, “Family, finance, relationship, and career-related issues are the most common reasons behind depression and anxiety these days.”
Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Dr Thakor said, “the hormones the body produces under stress lead to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, muscle pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, reduced libido etc. Thus, it creates a lot of ‘wear and tear’ in our bodies. That is why heart attacks have become so common in young people.”
“Stress is a fight and flight response. When it activates, our immunity is lower, and we become more open to infections. For children, stress is a vicious cycle, as they get more tensed when they cannot learn due to stress,” Dr Thakor added.
According to Dr Mistry, stress can lead to insomnia, panic attacks, mood swings and even depression. People under stress are more inclined to disturbed sleep patterns and easy agitation. They might also witness weight gain, weight loss, lack of concentration, inattentiveness, etc. Furthermore, the most severe cases of stress can cause suicidal depression.
Simple Steps To Deal With Stress
Dr Mistry mentioned that the youth turns to substances like nicotine, marijuana, and sleeping pills to relieve stress. These harmful substances can hinder over levels of serotonin and dopamine, chemicals responsible for happiness and mood swings.
According to Dr Thakor, it is crucial to understand its origin because only medications cannot solve the problem.
Dr Ravi Soni, a Psychiatrist at GIPS Hospital in Ahmedabad, gave a few steps to stay away from stress and be mentally and physically fit. They are proper time management, meditation and exercise, a balanced diet with fruits and fibre, and dedicating time to friends and family. Dr Soni said, “We can’t fix our working hours. But, we can fix our schedule.” In case of severe anxiety, a person must consult a doctor.