What are the Health Consequences of Chronic Stress?

Daily routine, troubles, and challenges at work and a fast pace of life bring a lot of stress to the life of an average working adult. Day by day we get used to it and may even not notice how harmful the stress for the health is.

The mechanism of stress

To support the normal functioning of the human organism under stress, special hormones called cortisol and adrenaline are secreted. If produced for a limited period of time, they help the body cope with a stressful situation. These hormones trigger:

  • Increased heart rate;
  • Elevation of the blood pressure;
  • Raise of the blood sugar levels;
  • Promote a stronger response of the immune system;
  • Slow down the digestive processes;
  • Lower the reproductive function;
  • Activate fear.

The physical effects of durable stress hormones secretion

In case a person is under continuous stress, the changes in the hormonal levels start working against him or her. People may evolve:

  • Cardiovascular disease. An increase in the blood pressure may progress into hypertension and heart disease. In addition, an individual may feel the changes in the heart rhythm and even have a heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, high blood pressure will gradually harm the inner lining of the blood vessels. As a result, the appearance of atherosclerosis is only a question of time.
  • Diabetes and prediabetes. Excessive amounts of glucose in the blood may become usual if you are always under stress. Hence you may evolve type 2 diabetes. This ailment affects the condition of all organs and systems and may significantly worsen the quality of life.
  • Frequent colds. Being always alert, the immunity may get worse over time. As a result, any light infection or virus may grow into a huge problem and serious disease.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Hypertension and high blood sugar may damage the blood vessels supplying the pelvic organs. Hence, gaining a strong and lasting erection may become problematic.

These are only some of the possible problems. In fact, their quantity is much bigger.

Emotional and mental health issues caused by stress

Except for numerous physical troubles, people often get a bunch of mental health problems. Excessive excitability may result in:

mechanism of stress

  • Aggressiveness;
  • Anxiety;
  • Fatigue;
  • Depression.

All these may be dealt with if you learn to control your emotions and cope with stress. Don’t let anything and anyone make you feel stressed. Stay calm and healthy!

How to Distinguish a Heart Attack from a Panic Attack

Every disease or health event has a number of distinct symptoms. However, in some cases, the signs of different health issues may be very alike. It is especially true when we speak about a heart attack and a panic attack.

A timely understanding of what is happening to you may save your life. That’s why it is so important to know the symptoms of both conditions.

The symptoms of heart attack

Men and women may have different symptoms of heart attack. This should also be taken into account when you suspect that something is wrong with your heart. To the first and major signs of heart attack belong:

  • Pain, discomfort, pressure or tightness in the chest. These feelings may gradually radiate to arms, neck, jaw or back. However, in men, it may manifest through chest discomfort only, without any acute pain sensations.
  • Difficulties with breathing, you may ”lack air”.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, sweating.

In case you have a heart attack, the symptoms will rapidly get worse. Besides, changing your body position won’t change the situation.

The signs of a panic attack

Though the two kinds of attacks seem quite alike, still they have some differences. If you are going through a panic attack, you are going to feel:

  • Sharp pain in a small and distinct area of the chest (usually in the middle);
  • Racing heartbeat;
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet;
  • Faintness, shortness of breath;
  • Nausea, vomiting.

It is clearly seen that the bulk of symptoms coincide. However, a panic attack is also accompanied by the feeling of terror and loss of self-control. Besides, pain in the chest lasts only for several second and may be eased by pushing on the area of pain or changing your body’s position.

panic attack

In addition, you may try to take control over the emotions. In case you succeed and the symptoms relieve, you are definitely dealing with a panic attack. Nevertheless, if you have even a tint of doubt, you’d better turn for medical help.

A doctor can perform the needed procedures to determine what kind of attack you have. Based on the results of the tests he will be able to prescribe the needed treatment.

Simple exercises to relieve stress and tension

Life is impossible to imagine without stresses. And no matter how emotionally strong we are, some situations can literally knock the ground from under the feet. To help keep control over one’s emotions, stay calm and relaxed, each of us should know at least several techniques and exercises that can help us get back to the norm.

Breathe deep

Deep and slow breathing can help to increase the oxygenation of blood and consequently all the body cells. It improves the function of the brain and the central nervous system thus making it much easier to get rid of stress.

Listen to music

You may have noticed that the music you listen to can have a serious impact on your emotions. Dealing with stress and tension, you may use the music as a weapon against increased nervousness. A calming melody can help you distract the attention from the irritant and restore the calmness.

Do yoga

Practicing yoga can teach you self-control and inner balance. A combination of physical exercises and breathing techniques applied in this ancient praxis will help the secretion of endorphins. These are special chemicals produced in the human brain that improve the mood. Thus, you may reduce tension and get more resistant to stress.



In case you are not a fan of sports and physical exercises, dancing is a wonderful option for you. First of all, you can enjoy the process. Besides, it is quite easy to get positive emotions while dancing as the work of the muscles intensifies the secretion of the happiness hormone. Your only task is not to try to be the best (though it may be very important for some of us) but to get physical and emotional satisfaction from what you are doing. Believe, you’ll forget about all the tension and stress you’ve received during the day.

How to live through the midlife crisis without consequences?

Reaching a certain age (usually 45-60) you start thinking about the young guy who had thousands of plans for his future. He wanted to travel and see the world, build up his own successful business, and buy a red Ford Mustang. Yet, the worst thing in all this recollection of dreams is that that young boy was actually you.

But now, you are in your fifties, you haven’t gone even from your native state, your job (though brings good income) is dull and uninteresting, and you have an ordinary Chevrolet instead of the car of your dream. A depressive picture, isn’t it? That’s, actually, how the midlife crisis begins.

You are torn from the inside by the emotions, which can often lead you to anxiety and depression. Another thing characteristic of this type of life crises is the desire to change your life. Radically and immediately. You want that young boy to come back!

How to keep control over the emotions?

Your major task in dealing with the crisis of the middle age is to keep your mind cool and avoid impulsive and emotional actions. Remember, this difficult period of transformation won’t last forever. And when the moment of “enlightenment” comes, you may feel even worse because of the mistakes you might have done being under the effect of uncontrolled sentiments.

anxiety and depression

A lot of men falling under the influence of emotions lose their once favorite jobs, families, and do some other silly things (like leaving everything for some unrealistic dream). Your crisis will fade away but your actions can change your life dramatically, and very rarely for the better. Think of it whenever some crazy thoughts arise in your head.

Look for the positive sides of your life. Try not to concentrate on the missed opportunities because they are already gone. Think of everything you’ve achieved during your life and stay optimistic. Such a strategy will help you strengthen your self-confidence and go through the crisis with your head high.

Of course, changes, even done during the midlife crisis, may be useful. Just make sure you really need them. And in case it is so, take a risk.

The Relationship Between Antidepressants And Sexuality

Anxiety is an increasingly common disorder that is not always managed only with the help of natural remedies. The use of antidepressants is indeed on the rise, but perhaps not everyone knows that their intake can adversely affect sex life. In the United States, about one in five adults suffers from depression and about 13% of the population takes drugs to fight it. Blogger Sara Kloepfer, on Collective, explained what are the side effects related to sex, with some advice to reduce them.

There is no exact estimate that shows the number of people subject to the harmful effects of antidepressants on sexual life: the figures fluctuate between 25 and 73%. But there is no doubt that there are some drugs that cause more problems than others. Some of these are citalopram, duloxetine, paroxetine and fluoxetine. Each of us metabolizes the intake of medicines differently, so reception is fundamentally subjective and the test should be done on oneself. What is harmful to someone, to others, could be tolerable.

When we talk about “sexual dysfunction” we refer to two different complications: the reduction of desire and the difficulty in reaching orgasm. Prescription antidepressants, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) generally act on the former. In essence, it is the libido that is lacking and not the physical capacity to have relationships. The drugs that manipulate serotonin increase the reception of the latter by the brain, generating a feeling of calm and tranquility. Sensation that can alter eros, slowing communication between the brain and sexual impulses.

The dysfunction can affect both women and men, with a slight difference relative to the effects that occur: if the former are more likely to lack excitement, which can lead to delayed lubrication and orgasm, male complications involve a difficult achievement of total pleasure, or the lack of ejaculation.

Determining whether symptoms come from taking medications or mental health disorders may not be so simple. The first step is to understand how the stimuli and therefore the sexual desire have changed from before to after the medical therapy. But not only that: additional factors to take into consideration could be stress, an unhealthy lifestyle and habitual use of hormonal contraceptives.

antidepressants and sexuality

First of all the simplest solution is to wait for a possible improvement. Yes, because it could take weeks or months before the body gets used to antidepressants. The important thing is not to stop taking it without consulting a doctor who can advise on the right process of abandonment. And a professional consultation is also necessary to lower the dose of the medicines, a step to be taken only if the anxiety and depression have shown positive changes. Otherwise you can try other brands less subject to side effects. In any case, even with a different type of treatment, we will have to wait to see the first results. Meanwhile, you can work on libido with the help of movements or practices that usually trigger excitement (use a vibrator or watch a porn movie, for example) and stimulate the body even though the mind is still inhibited.

Low Libido In Men: Psychological And Physiological Reasons Behind It

Contrary to a popular belief, the lack of sexual desire is not only the preserve of women or even the consequence of age. This is shown in the study by Professor Leonard Derogatis (Johns Hopkins University, USA) that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study showed that 20% of men sometimes felt a lack of sexual desire, and often for 2%. However, the survey did not say anything about the causes of this lack of libido.

As for the possible causes, there are many. One distinguishes the organic causes (physical) and the psychological causes. For example, the lack of testosterone is accused of being responsible for a lack of libido in men. In fact, while it is true that the hormone deficiency can be accompanied by a lack of desire, it is far from being systematic.

Be that as it may, by studying a group of 464 men between the ages of 25 and 64, Derogatis and his colleagues took care to exclude those with low testosterone levels. They also discounted those with other possible causes of low libido: men who had, or had had, depression and those who took a drug known to interact with sexuality. Finally, they eliminated men who had a particular sexual problem, such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.

It happens that the lack of interest in sexuality comes from a sexual disorder compromising the usually recreational and playful nature of it. The sexual act then becomes akin to a test, passing test or worse, a test of virility, and his desire can be overwhelmed by the fear of failure.

In the American study, after having excluded from the study all these frequent causes of lack of libido, there remained only 200 men out of the 464 of the initial group! But among them, there were still 109 suffering from a lack of libido and 91 complaining of nothing. It is these two groups that the researchers compared through a battery of questionnaires. First surprise, there were so many men with diseases or taking drugs in both groups. Proof that it is a little simplistic to want to systematically explain a libido disorder by a health problem. Fortunately, sexuality is not just for healthy people!

It is true that the first years as a couple, the two types of desires interact and feed without it being easy to unravel them, giving the impression that we all feel an endogenous desire.

But over time, the specificities of the formed couple assert themselves and it is common that there is a partner with a higher sexual desire than the other. A bit like one of the two was reloading their desire battery faster. They are thus more often, if not always, the one who proposes a sexual act. The other then puts on the habit of regulating the sexuality of the couple by accepting or refusing the act. This is not necessarily a serious matter: if the couple manages harmoniously the shift of desires, in other words if the proposer accepts willingly the possible refusals of the other and the refusal does not feel any pressure, things happen generally good. On the other hand, when partners do not cope well, one feels rejected and the other under pressure to act, a defusing of sexual desire can occur. It is then time to consult a specialist.