Visiting the Doctor

[ Awakenings Home ] [ Stress Main Page ] [ Back ] [ Next ]





The doctor can find no evidence that you have hurt yourself, yet.



You can hurt yourself.

When these symptoms come you may try to ignore them but eventually you decide to go to see your doctor.

The doctor usually listens attentively to all the problems, runs lots of tests, and helps you spend a lot of money. Eventually you are called back into the office to get the "good news." You are told that, "Nothing is wrong." Well, this "good news" usually makes you angry because you know darn well that something is not right. Sometimes the doctor might even tell you to "just relax." This comment makes you even madder because now it sounds like the doctor is not taking you seriously. It seems to you that he might even be suggesting that the "problem" is all in your head, which means made up or imaginary.

Well the symptoms you are having are not imaginary. They are very real, and the " good news" that you get is indeed Good News because it means the doctor can find no evidence that you have hurt yourself yet. The very real symptoms you have are the natural consequence of living in a chronic, low-grade stress reaction. If your muscles are always tighter then the need to be then eventually something is going to hurt. The continual rapid breathing, chest tightness, and accelerated heart rate of stress can create cardiac like symptoms. Headaches and dizzy spells might come from your now elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure may go up and not come back down. With the "on again-off again" flow of blood to the belly an assortment of gastrointestinal problems may appear. (Cramping, queasiness, indigestion, diarrhea.) Your moods may range from irritation, frustration, and anger to sadness, depression and despair. Anxiety and panic may predominate, and you might feel continually harried. All of these symptoms and moods make it difficult to pay attention and to concentrate on daily tasks. Your mind frequently wanders. You are forgetful, make mistakes and become less efficient at any project you have at home or work.

If you live out this pattern long enough, then the initial good news of the doctor will become the "bad news." Eventually, when you return to the physician, it is determined that you now have hurt yourself. There is pathophysiological evidence of tissue damage. The pain in the belly is now an ulcer. Your high blood pressure requires medication to control it. If you live with stress long enough it can hurt you.



[ Awakenings Home ] [ Stress Main Page ] [ Back ] [ Next ]