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Stress In America: Looking Beyond Everyday Stress


Part one of this “Stress In America” series
exposed how stress contributes to common
physical ailments like chest pain, dizziness,
headache and fatigue. Part two detailed ways
to reduce stress, improve health and increase
We now conclude this series by examining
what happens when the problem is more
severe than everyday stress.
Depression and anxiety can have devastating
effects on physical health. And the reverse is
true, too, as major medical problems can
produce major psychological disorders like
depression and anxiety.
Before we explore that connection, let’s take a
look at the prevalence of depression and
anxiety in America, along with the toll they
take on our economy.
Depression And Anxiety Are Common And
Major psychological disorders are more
common than Americans might think,
affecting 20 to 25 percent of adults in a given
year. Studies show nearly half of all
Americans will experience a psychological
problem at some point in their lives.
But the prevalence of these problems extends
beyond personal health effects. Depression
and anxiety have been shown to inflict a
substantial impact on absenteeism and
productivity in the workplace.
Every year, depression results in 200 million
lost workdays, costing employers an estimated
$17 billion to $44 billion. In fact, the
calculated impact of depression and anxiety
disorders on the workplace is worse than the
impacts of diabetes and heart disease.
A Two-Way Street: Physical And
Psychological Disease
As noted above, the connection between
psychological disorders and medical issues
goes both ways.
For example, depression doubles the risk of
cardiovascular disease and more than doubles
the risk of being hospitalized. It also
diminishes life expectancy by seven to 11
years, similar to the effects of heavy smoking.
On one hand, medical problems like diabetes,
heart disease and arthritis can lead to major
psychological disorders. And on the other, the
daily distress from an underlying chronic
disease worsens the severity of anxiety and/or
depression…continue reading from Source.


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