180. The Problem of Stress

There are all sorts of self-help books out there that tell us how to reduce stress – yoga, soothing music, exercise, meditation, bubble baths, and the like – but these techniques assume we are the victim and can only feel better by a passive response to stress.

But many stressors are not under our control, like the various Middle East crises, the disintegration of our society into one of violence and disregard for others, and the specter of economic disaster and financial ruin. And there are stressors that seem out of our control, but are not truly so, like a workplace that is a den of snakes, a cheating or alcoholic husband, or a close friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Bubble baths will not alleviate the stress of financial ruin. Exercise will not solve the problem of patchy child care. Meditation will not find another job for one whose place of work has just gone out of business. Let’s look at how to deal with these things in Friday’s blog.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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3 Responses to 180. The Problem of Stress

  1. All very true! I’ve found therapists exasperating when it comes to the issue of stress… my most recent one suggested that I have a bath at the end of the day to relax and what happened: my daughter kept passing me notes through the door saying she (1) hated me and (2) and wanted to give me a kiss.
    Yes, of course, there are ways and means round this but just saying you can do this and that to relax can come across as the advisor isn’t really listening.

    • Patrick Day says:

      Exactly. There seem to be too many therapists, and psychiatrists, I might add, who treat those who are depressed and anxious out of a textbook and not by listening to them. I hope you find a more realistic approach in the upcoming Friday’s blog.

      • Looking forward to your post…
        To be fair, my last counsellor was trying to encourage me in the ways that he could (i.e. he couldn’t magic up solutions to lack of childcare) so that I might better be able to deal with life’s realities.

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