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Stress, it affects who we are.

Updated on February 24, 2014

Who doesn't have stress?

So you have a headache. What do you do but reach for Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. You have nausea so you take Pepto Bismol. You can't sleep, so you take Sominex. When all these ailments happen we as society go to our physicians, hospitals or possibly get admitted. Test, after test are performed. Our physicians order labs, Cat Scans, MRI's, Sonograms or possibly more extensive tests. You name it, the doctors do it. Then what do you get?

Enormous hospitals bills if uninsured, high co-pays if you have insurance. After all the tests are done your told by your physician you have Severe Anxiety Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That's all. That's all? I ask. What is stress so insignificant it doesn't matter? Give me a break!

What do the doctors do? They prescribe you Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium or other anti-anxiety drugs. According to WebMD, 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. The medications prescribed are called Benzodiazepines, sound familiar? I'm sure many of you reading this article are taking or have taking these medicines. Why? Because we can't handle the stress of today.

But did you know that these medications are in a tier guide of highly potential addicted medications. Thanks doc for giving us this stuff. According to Helpguide.org, these medications relieve anxiety and stress by slowing down the anxiety in the central nervous system. So yes it does help and I can relate.

However, the problem is that we become addicted. Yes I said that dirty word...ADDICTED! So doctors why do you prescribe this to us? Now because of a law, thank you congress, our primary care doctors must schedule an office visit every three months for patients who take these medications on a daily basis. For what? The doctors prescribed it but now the government is watching to make sure your patients aren't abusing it. If you have no insurance it is difficult just to come up with the payment for this unnecessary doctor visit.

Some doctors now want you to see a Psychiatrist and won't write out your prescription. What a Psychiatrist? Who has that kind of money. I'm not crazy, just STRESSED and yet the doctor is to blame for starting us on this medication. The reason for these changes is because these medications are placed in drug categories from 1 to 5 based on addiction potential.(http://www.kentucky.com).

So I ask you, what are we to do? Cut the drugs in half to make them last longer thus lowering the dosage. Doing that could result in potential withdrawl symptoms? Are these doctors nuts? Stress is a condition and although normal stress is tolerable what about extreme stress. Have you ever felt your heart palpitating too fast? Do you feel like you head is going to explode? Do you have nausea and vomiting? Aren't these some of the symptoms we went to the doctors to control and now they want to cut off the same medications that was given to help us? Why?

There are many people who are anti-pill and believe me, I know a few. But what about those of us who have experienced a loss of home, job, loved one or just had everything in life fall apart at once. We need to cope. How would you feel if you no longer had your medication? Could you handle stress, extreme stress without it. I know many people who take Xanax like its Aspirin. Just remember that Aspirin is bought over the counter, but our own physicians prescribed us this medicine. I know I speak from experience. Some days the stress is so bad that everyday activities are difficult for me.

I conclude this article with a question to those of you reading this article....Could you handle the stress in your life without any form of medication? If so what's your secret and maybe you should let these doctors know. Do you feel that this medication is helping you? Are you angry with your doctor for prescribing it and now making you cut down. I look forward to your comments. We as society must come together to overcome stress. But how? What is the right way to do this? I wish I knew, but I am just like you and do what the doctor says.

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Stress is a problem with many people the daily lives make it so. Interesting points made here.

    • lisavanvorst profile image
      Author

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Stress in these hard financial times escalates. Believe me I know. Stress can make a person feel physically and mentally ill. It affects each of us for varies reasons ie: relationships, money problems, family issues, job and much more. It should be categorized as a disease and recognized for what it can do to a person. Thank you DDE for reading and understanding.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      It is disturbing how stressed so many people are and how it is treated. You made some excellent points in this article.

    • lisavanvorst profile image
      Author

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you, stress is a silent disease and it not only causes physical problems, but also mental problems. We need to de-stress ourselves from this disease that affects so many individuals.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      I've been handling the stress in my life without medication all of my life. I've lost my home, my job, gone through 3 divorces and all that led up to them, several funerals for loved ones, serious accidents, grew up with a tyrant for a father, and I got within a week of becoming homeless, all the time watching that disaster creep closer. I'm sure there have been other difficult times as well.

      Through it all I popped no pills, and used no alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, or other. I hate pills and all the substances that cause trouble in people's lives.

      While I've never taken advantage of it, I would recommend psychotherapy for stress. No, it's not cheap. Neither is a drug addiction.

      Even when Elavil was offered, all I could see in the name was the 'evil' part and I trashed the prescription.

      It took my doc 3 years to persuade me to take high blood pressure medication. Even now I often forget to take it and my BP is through the roof and has been for years -- largely due to stress no doubt. I don't worry about it because there's nothing I can do about it. If I stroke out I only hope I'll die so I don't become a burden to myself or anyone else. I love veggies, but I don't want to be one.

      Since I have no insurance or money, God is my insurance. If He has something He needs me to do, He'll have to see to it I'm healthy enough and alive enough to do it, or it won't get done.

      I don't know any docs who will run tests or do anything if you can't afford to pay. My doc has told me twice that there's nothing he can do since I have no money or insurance. So how do you run these bills up that you're talking about?

      I know antidepressants and pain killers are addictive. Most docs are hesitant to prescribe them because Big Brother is looking over their shoulders watching to see if they have a little drug business on the side. Some docs do. Big Brother has been watching for several years now, at least 20, it isn't new.

      I see the doc once a year to get my HBP and thyroid prescriptions renewed. It costs me $137 out of my pocket for 5 minutes with the doc and he only writes the prescriptions, nothing more. Then I have to buy the drugs yet. Highway robbery.

      Here you pay in advance and if you can't your appointment is cancelled on the spot.

      Stress is definitely a problem for lots of people, but this people had to learn to deal with it herself. That was, and remains my only choice. People can do amazing things when they make up their minds to do it or else.

      I've seen what pain pills do to people and I wanted no part in that. They're fine for acute pain short term, after surgery or tooth extraction, etc., for maybe a couple of days, but after that, a person is asking for trouble if they continue to use them. Don't finish the bottle of pills just because it's there. If you don't need them, don't use them.

      If the doc can't justify a medication and a worthwhile result from taking it, I say no thank you.

      I can't sleep to save my soul often times no matter how dog tired I am, but no sleeping pills for me. I'll eventually sleep or die, both of which to me are preferable to an addiction.

      The way I deal with stress that is usually beyond my control is that I just forget about it. If there is nothing I can do about it I don't even try. Worry solves nothing and in fact makes things worse. I forget about the problem as though it didn't exist. I can't pay a bill? I don't pay it and I don't think about it either.

      I like to avoid people who are trouble makers and there are always plenty of them, office politicians, in every work place, and their reach is unbelievable. The less you say, the less ammunition you give these people who have nothing to do but collect their paycheck and be a thorn in as many petooties as possible. How do I know they have nothing to do? If they had anything to do they wouldn't have time to play politics. Any boss who has an office politician or 2, or 3, etc., among his/her workers needs to load them down with work. The boss will know when they have enough to do because the OP will stop.

      Not everyone finds it easy to take control of their feelings and often times their fears. I didn't. But it was that or go off the deep end. Not much of a choice. So, here I am without pills or alcohol or any other crutches, and the world is still turning. I'm still living on the edge and I'm still breathing.

      I don't expect much if anything from anyone in the way of help and I've never been disappointed. When the only thing you can do is make do, that's what you do. I'm continually surprised at how many people don't know that, and I'm not just talking about spring chickens.

      I can't even imagine being so dependent on high dollar drugs. I hate being dependent on the drugs I'm on now. A lot of the stress comes with people trying to live life they way they believe they're supposed to and must live it according to what the media tells them and how their friends/family are living.

      You'd be surprised at how much easier life can be without a car payment and insurance premiums to match. Your friends won't like you anymore if you drive an old jalopy? They weren't really friends in the first place and your stress levels will go down even more when they're out of your life too.

      Your kids will discover they can manage just fine without all the plastic crap from China that nickels and dimes you to death, and without Cable or satellite TV. They'll become more creative and may even discover books. After the initial tantrum and they discover you aren't going to give in, they'll find a way to deal with the new situation.

      People don't really need all the trappings of modern life. They just imagine they can't live without them. Pick out the ones you really can't live without if there are any, and then do get rid of the others. You'll have less stress and even more time if you don't have to work 80 hours a week to make a house and car payment you really can't afford.

      People have become helpless these days. They have no idea how to manage for a few hours or a day with no electricity for example. No TV? The world is imploding. I don't have a TV and I don't miss it. So life is possible without TV and I'm the proof.

      So many trappings and imagined necessities are causing stress. Working long hours, forgetting what your kids look like because you're never home to see them, choosing instead to run the rat race. Yes, it's a choice.

      There are a lot of other things that cause stress that aren't necessary too, but I've a feeling this is turning into a novel. Good topic you've raised.

      Just remember Henry Ford who introduced the assembly line. One of his famous quotes: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” In other words, if you believe you can't cope, you're probably right. You've decided you can't, so you fulfill your own expectations.

    • lisavanvorst profile image
      Author

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Aufait I hear what you are saying and I have been there with no health insurance for two years while I was unemployed. Two years of not going to a doctor, getting a mammogram, dental work, eyes checked etc. Then here in New Jersey I applied for charitable care and got it. Which was good since I was in the emergency room four times in 2012 and also admitted to the hospital. Guess what it was stress, although I still feel the doctors are missing something as I still do not feel physically well. Then when I applied for Obama care and waited and waited for my insurance card, guess what? I was offered a job two weeks later. So yes I was so grateful for the job, but now that I was working and eligible for health insurance from my employer, I could not use my free health insurance through Obama Care. So once again I had to post pone mammograms, blood work, physicals, dental, vision, you name it. Read my hub about My Vacation. I actually took a week off from work to go to my primary doctor, get bloodwork, found out I have an ear and throat infection. Get that mammogram (which my mom had breast Cancer), so I need one every year. Go to the dentist just to find out I have two rotten teeth that need to be pulled. At the doctors he did a sonogram of my thyroid, something I struggled with years ago and actually had to have a biopsy. Thank God nothing was wrong, but now here I go again with nodules all over my thyroid. Still waiting for the blood tests to find out what to do now. Please look into where you live to try to get health insurance. There must be something you can get based on your income. Tomorrow I go back to work and although I am on antibotics, my throat is killing me. Don't wait till your sick. Being sick causes stress both mental and physical stress. We need to take care of ourselves. Who will if we don't?

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