Dr. Gallan and Dove discuss stress in general and what we can do about it.

Dove: So many people are experiencing stressors from the virus and before that, all kinds of issues. What exactly is stress? And what causes it?

Dr. G: You are so right; I see the levels of stress in all my patients as being the initial reason they come to therapy, Here's the deal; stress can be ANY event or condition in a person's life that results in him or her feeling fright or flight.

Dove: So you mean, anything like fear of losing a job; or being afraid that a person is not earning enough?

Dr. G: Sure, but it can also be something that you or I would not be all that upset about. See the key is that the person who feels the stress could be the only one in the family to feel it. That is a really key point. It's unique to the person who is experiencing it. I'm not saying that our person we're discussing is really different, I'm saying that it is hitting him in a way that is causing a greater reaction than it would someone else.

Dove: Why, anybody would be upset and stressed, for instance, if they were going to lose their job, wouldn't they?

Dr. G: Possibly, but the person in our discussion feels that way because it's the way they are looking at the situation. So Maybe they are afraid because the company is downsizing, and he may be thinking he's going to naturally be the one to get fired/laid off? You see, it's his "feeling" about his situation that causes the stress reaction in his body. Losing sleep, maybe high blood pressure can't eat, can't concentrate and more, Irritable and short tempered

So, He's not imaging the situation, but he feels powerless and possibly unwanted. He looks around and his pals at work are not panicking like him. How come? One says “if it happens I'll collect unemployment and look for a better job” Or if we're talking about the virus, the Federal Govt is going to dole out cash to folks like him who are losing work due to the virus.

Here's the key; it's in the person's ability to look at this situation differently. Resilience; confidence, faith, all mean similar things that suggest an ingredient to help in a better way of viewing the world. Right now, with the virus and after its over, the country and the world will not be the same. Each person who is feeling stressed needs to look at; what's important and put the nasty situation in perspective. So therapy can be a huge step in helping the stressed person learn why he is so frightened? And how to have more confidence to move forward with whatever life is offering.

Dove: So I hear you saying that a person's health can be affected by stress. Is that right?

Dr. G: absolutely!! If uncontrolled it can result in panic attacks, cardio problems, poor choices of how to handle it like using alcohol to numb oneself and forget, Some people isolate and shut down; Here's what happens in the body when the person feels threatened by something in his or her life that is going wrong.

When the body is in fight/flight response, the body releases adrenaline and cortisol to help the body fight... an increased heart rate can signal the person's body is ready to run. These signals are unnecessary and the body goes into an exhaustion phase... this is when our immune system takes a walk and we come down with whatever our body has been trying to fight against... not just a flu or virus, it can be worse especially if the stress has been endured for an Active coping is the stage where the individual actively seeks ways to resolve the stress.

Once again, it is much easier to manage these situations with the help of a professional.

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