Wednesday November 13, 2019

Stress, Anxiety May Not be as Harmful as You Think: Study

According to the researchers, stress causes harm when it exceeds any level that a person can reasonably absorb or use to build psychological strength, likewise, anxiety becomes unhealthy when its alarm makes no sense

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People generally think of stress and anxiety as negative concepts, now new study shows that they often play a helpful, not harmful, role in our daily lives.

“Many Americans now feel stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches out to a professional for help, stress and anxiety have already built to unhealthy levels,” said study researcher Lisa Damour, private-practice psychologist from the US.

Stress usually occurs when people operate at the edge of their abilities — when they push themselves or are forced by circumstances to stretch beyond their familiar zones.

It’s also important to understand that stress can result from both bad and good events. For instance, being fired is stressful but so is bringing a baby home for the first time.

Anxiety, too, gets an unnecessarily bad rap, said the study.

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Today, one in three teens between the ages of 13 and 18 has an anxiety disorder. Pixabay

“As all psychologists know, anxiety is an internal alarm system, likely handed down by evolution, that alerts us to threats both external — such as a driver swerving in a nearby lane — and internal — such as when we have procrastinated too long and it’s time to get started on our work,” Damour said.

“Similarly, if a client shares that she’s worried about an upcoming test for which she has yet to study, I am quick to reassure her that she is having the right reaction and that she will feel better as soon as she hits the books,” she added.

Also Read: Fake News on Jammu and Kashmir Fanning Hatred

According to the researchers, stress causes harm when it exceeds any level that a person can reasonably absorb or use to build psychological strength, likewise, anxiety becomes unhealthy when its alarm makes no sense.

“Untreated stress and anxiety can cause persistent misery but can also contribute to a host of additional psychological and medical symptoms, such as depression or an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”, Damour added. (IANS)

Next Story

Anxiety Among Teenagers Leads To Harmful Drinking

Generalized anxiety disorder among teenagers can lead to harmful drinking

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Anxiety among teenagers is associated with harmful drinking. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence strengthens the evidence for a relationship between anxiety and later alcohol use as the researchers accounted for other factors such as adolescent smoking and cannabis use, and parental anxiety and alcohol use.

“Helping adolescents to develop positive strategies for coping with anxiety, instead of drinking alcohol, may reduce the risk of future harmful drinking. However, we cannot determine if the relationship is causal, because we used an observational study design,” said Maddy Dyer.

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking, frequent bingeing, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking at age 18.

Generalised anxiety disorder continued to be associated with harmful drinking at age 21.

Drinking to cope was also strongly associated with more harmful drinking, but it did not appear to influence associations between anxiety and alcohol use.

Harmful drinking was measured using a special test developed by the World Health Association.

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Adolescents with anxiety drink at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not. Pixabay

On average, adolescents with anxiety drank at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not.

“Our own research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex,” said Mark Leyshon, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Alcohol Change UK.

For example, anxiety can be both a result of stopping drinking and a risk factor in beginning to drink too much, as this new study suggests.

Also Read- Study Says, Multitasking can take Teenagers to both Positive and Negative Approach

“We need more research to help us better understand the connections between alcohol and mental health, as well as high-quality, accessible, integrated support for substance misuse and mental health issues,” Leyshon added. (IANS)