The mother of all evils

If only we all went on some sort of a prevention program for stress at elementary school, that would have saved us some unnecessary heartache (literally).

Stress! Truly, the mother of all evils! Surely, for the most part, we can’t avoid the stressful event. However, recognizing symptoms of stress early will eliminate its chronic negative consequences. Symptoms of stress will be covered in the next blog post. My aim with this blog post is for you to fully understand the horrific consequences of stress.

During my training, I met a wonderful 40-year-old woman. She was brought by her father and step-mother to the psychiatric department at the hospital where I was undergoing my training. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 20. It was important for me to learn more about her first psychotic episode. Upon meeting her father and step-mother, I learned that what preceded the very first psychotic episode was a rape incident! Now, rape does not only cause stress, but it may also lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (which is quite a complicated mental disorder on its own). Another inpatient, who was diagnosed with bipolar depression, experienced his very first episode after his mother passed away in a road-trip car accident that he convinced her to go on. ”Stressful events” do not need to be that severe. In fact, a third inpatient that I met, had her first psychotic episode when her mom was bedridden, her crush of several years turned her down, being the breadwinner of the family (her dad passed away when she was a child) and starting university. You may be thinking that not everyone who has experienced being raped went on to develop a psychotic disorder. That’s very true. Having said that, stress may lead to depression, anger, anxiety, alcohol, and drug addiction. This is just to mention a few.

Stress effects on the body

People are walking around carrying the effects of stress on their bodies and they don’t even know it. Below is an article that has been put together by the American Psychological Association about stress effects on the body:

Stress effects on the body

As mentioned earlier, it is inevitable to face stressful situations. However, it is important to recognise the signs of stress, catch them early, do something about them and PICK YOURSELF UP.

Is there a stressful situation that you have experienced that you would like to share with me? Feel free to do so by commenting below, dropping me a message on my Facebook page or by sending me an e-mail on

Till the next blog post! Much love

Stress: Symptoms

The scariest thing about stress is that it is so easy to get used to its symptoms and overlooking it as a cause. Then one may end up spending too much money, time, and energy on treating symptoms of stress, leaving the primary source untouched.

Now, the symptoms I’m going to outline below may apply to several other conditions (this is not to say that stress is a mental condition). Only YOU can identify if what you are going through is due to increased levels of stress. Having said that, let me outline common symptoms of stress:

  1. Stress lowers immunity: with that being said, you may be experiencing more frequent or prolonged colds or flu.
  2. Lower ability to think straight: To explain why this is the case, I will have to take you back to the origins of stress. Humans stress to save themselves when faced with dangerous situations. When feeling stressed, it is a sign that your body is going into a flight-or-fight mode. Thus, when you are feeling stressed out, your body is too focused on choosing between fighting or flying that you can’t think straight.
  3. Sleep problems
  4. Lower sex desire

If you notice changes in any of the above, it may be helpful to take a minute to think over what is causing you stress and if there is anything you can do to change it.

In the next blog post, I will talk to you through practical tips to reduce stress. Till then, remember to take whatever chance that comes your way to PICK YOURSELF UP.