Archives for July, 2011
As many as 37% of individuals with an alcohol disorder have been found to also have a mental disorder, while 53% of individuals with drug disorders other than alcohol have been found to have a mental disorder. Co-morbidity—the presence of more than one disorder—increases the severity of symptoms and the difficulty in treating either one of the problems.
If you’re stressed by cuts in bonuses, lack of opportunity for career advancement, unrealistic job expectations, long hours and feeling undervalued, you’re not alone. According to a Summary of the American Psychological Association’s Stress in the Workplace Survey in March, 2011: “More than one third (36 percent) of workers said they typically feel tense or stressed out during their workday and almost half (49 percent) said low salary is significantly impacting their stress level at work. Twenty percent report that their average daily level of stress from work is an 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale.” With cuts due to the recession, many employees are experiencing significant stressors at work, such as excessively high workloads, unrealistic expectations, a lack of control over their work day and expectations that they complete work tasks at which they are inexperienced or unqualified.
Often people worry about their worry. It’s not uncommon to be stressed about your stress-response. In the absence of accurate information about the symptoms of your stress-response, you may develop faulty thoughts that cause fear and anxiety and additional stress. If you have serious concerns about your health and question whether your symptoms are stress-related or a sign of some other health problem, you should seek medical help. The following are challenges to distorted or faulty thoughts about stress and anxiety adapted from Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective by Aaron Beck, M.D. and Gary Emery Ph.D. (2005).
In a recent post I mentioned the mental and physical benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice. But if you don’t have experience with meditation or mindfulness, incorporating a practice into your daily life can seem daunting. In his book, Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn makes recommendations on how to get started on establishing a mindfulness practice in your life.
The practice of meditation has long been used for the purposes of stress reduction. Transcendental meditation, for example, handed down by Vedic masters in India from generation to generation for thousands of years involves reducing stress by experiencing a state of restful consciousness. Recently, medical science has been looking at meditation practices and how they impact physical health. Cardiovascular disease, as a leading cause of death in the United States and Worldwide, is of particular interest in the medical community. The psychosocial and environmental stressors that are potential contributing factors to cardiovascular disease, may be impacted by meditation practice.
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane and, after hours of the rushing white noise, felt relief when you finally experienced silence or lived or worked along a railroad track or near an airport, then you know that environmental noise is distracting and tiring.