stress

Jun. 30th, 2008 02:55 pm
jenk: Faye (FayeAtComputer)
Reading an article about how "Oh, you should de-stress" is given as a cure-all. Yes, less stress can make it easier to get enough sleep, which has good effects. Yes, being stressed all the time can raise blood pressure. But when cancer or infertility is blamed on stress, I can't help but wonder if it's just blaming the victim and offering the "reassurance" that "cancer only happens to stressed people (and I'm not one so I'm safe)".

But it was this quote that gave me a chuckle ...
Susan Sontag noted that a culture’s maladies are apparent in the emotional causes it attributes to illness. In the Victorian period, cancer was “caused” by excessive family obligations or hyper-emotionalism. In the 1970s it was “caused” by isolation and suppressed anger. So the assertion that stress underlies 99 percent of illness may indicate more about the healthy than the sick. Stress is our burden, our bogyman, and reducing it is the latest all-purpose talisman against adversity’s randomness.
Peggy Orenstein, in the NY Times
Not that stress is our only bogyman ...

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