Recently, the world was unpleasantly surprised when Kanye West, the self-proclaimed messiah of music had to “take some time” due to exhaustion, spending a week or so at the UCLA Medical Center. He since got out of the hospital and is currently getting outpatient treatment.
Before all of this happened, Yeezy had had a couple of rough weeks which culminated in a gig-turned-40-minute-rant in Sacramento that left his fans rather underwhelmed.
In short, Kanye got tired, the stress of his career caught up with him and his system couldn’t take it anymore.
Perhaps this is a good thing. Not for Kanye, of course, but for the rest of us. We often need something like this to happen to a famous person before we start considering a health issue seriously.
And do not get fooled – stress-related exhaustion and breakdowns are a health issue.
The Many Sources of Family and Work-Related Stress
One thing that pretty much everyone employed will agree on is that work can be stressful. It does not matter what you do, who you work for or even how much you love your job – work is a major source of stress and this fact is not something that should be ignored.
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) did a survey back in 2006 and they discovered that the main causes of work-related stress are deadlines, interpersonal relationships, staff management and dealing with acute issues.
In 2001, the University of Plymouth started off on a journey to find out what stresses workers in the UK and how stressed they are. They discovered that up to 5 million workers in the UK alone feel at least ‘very’ stressed by their work. The main culprits were long hours, too much workload, job security, work relationships and communications.
Going back to the ADAA study, one of the worst things they found out is that 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women felt the work-related stress carried over to their personal lives. Also, 80 percent of men and 61 percent of women said that workplace stress negatively affected their relationships.
When it comes to family-related stress, it will often involve relationship problems and health issues that can be a huge source of stress for people. For example, a study by the American Psychological Association concluded that more than half of Americans were stressed because of a health condition of some kind.
It should be pointed out that the majority of family-related stress is also money-related. TIME recently released a map of the United States, showing what causes the most financial stress in each of the states. Paying off debt is by far the most common for the financial family stress.
How Stress Kills
Stress is uncomfortable enough to be avoided in the first place, but once you start thinking about all the negative effects it has on your body and mind, it soon becomes even more sinister. Starting from the top, extended periods of stress can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also exacerbate conditions like asthma, hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.
Too much stress increases the chances of developing diabetes as well as suffering from a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues. Your immune system and your sex life will also suffer. You can find out more details about the negative effects of stress.
How to Deal With It
The first step in dealing with stress is acknowledging it. The worst thing you can do is suppress it and think that it is a normal state for a human being. It is not. Stress is a killer and without acknowledging it, you will never be able to deal with it.
It is also essential that you see it as just another condition, a health risk that you need to address. It is not something you walk off. Stress is not something you ignore because that is what a strong person does.
The next step is making some lifestyle adjustments and trying to make minor corrections that would reduce the levels of stress you are exposed on a daily basis. If possible, talk to your superiors and try to explain to them that you are experiencing too much stress at work. If they feel like this is not their problem, then it might actually be time to change your work environment. Of course, services like psychological assessments and talking to psychiatrists are always a good idea.
The important thing is that you do not ignore it.
Ignoring stress can be the worst thing you can do for your health.
Do not do it.