Health

Stress and the Burnout Syndrome

Stress today is a fact of life, as the modern man is living life in the fast lane. Various stressors like physical, chemical, psychological, and environmental have to be faced daily. For optimal health we have to maintain a constant or near constant “internal environment” in relation to our “external environment”. This complex body process was designated by the Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye (1972) as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).

The GAS has three stages:

1. Alarm,
2. Adaptation, and 
3. Exhaustion.

This system within limits works very well, but on Chronic Stress adaptation of the body is shattered and completely fails to cope up. This leads to anxiety, and diseases of adaptation which include migraine, angina pectoris, coronary heart disease, stomach ulcers, and diabetes mellitus, premature ageing, and mental diseases.

To escape anxiety some individuals start on "drugs' and slip into drug addiction.

Burnout Syndrome

In the burnout syndrome the individual feels extremely tired, demoralized, irritable and at times leading to cardiac rhythm disorders. This vital exhaustion is commonly referred to as the Burnout Syndrome.

According to Dr. Praveen Garg, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, “The burnout syndrome differs from simple depression, and is characterized by low mood, guilt, and poor self-esteem”. The study has been carried out in 11,000 individuals. The study indicates that if such a situation continues chronically, the atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia which predisposes the sufferer to heart attacks and cerebral stroke. This study spanned nearly 25 years. Vital exhaustion is associated with increased inflammation and heightened body's physiologic stress response. Thus, measures to destress the individual, and to provide adequate social support are essential items to avoid such a situation.

Reference: "Burnout can hurt a healthy heart" Times of India (TOI) Sunday 26th January, 2020.

15-Feb-2020

More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar

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