Entries by Dr. Z

Worst Stress Relievers: Owning Guns

Stressed by the danger of a home intrusion? We may be tempted to purchase a gun to feel safer and relieve this type of stress. The remedy, however, has its own problems. Statistics have shown consistently that guns cause more deaths to their owners and their family members than to would-be intruders. The danger for […]

Cellphone Use & Cancer: Risks and Opinions

On May 31, 2011 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced their classification of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields emitted from cell phones, used globally by more than 4.6 billion people, as "possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  Given the serious health risk that this implies, WHO has pledged to conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health […]

How Good and Bad Stress Are the Same

Eustress (or good stress) and bad stress (acute or chronic) cause the exact same reaction in the human body. Even during voluntary “stressful” activities such as sport or exercise or when we receive unexpected good news, the brain stem, the oldest and more primordial part of the human brain, immediately mobilizes the body’s resources. The […]

Type A and Hi-Tech: A Dangerous Mix

What does the relentless push of technology into our lives do to our ability to manage stress and to our health in general? It depends on the personality. For individuals who have a type A personality, multiple e-mail addresses available from any platform, high-speed anywhere Internet access, smart mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers have enabled […]

3 Good Ways of Responding To a Panic Attack

A panic attack ambushes the mind, the body, and the soul. Its targets are self-esteem, a balanced self-assessment and the ability to analyze situations and expected outcomes. When panic strikes, the present becomes a bleak landscape of dangers and the future includes a (seemingly) real possibility of annihilation. In the presence of a real (or […]

8 Hours of Stress Each Day

Excluding the off-the-charts stress of a job loss, there are certain on-going job conditions that may be present throughout the working day and that almost invariably lead to significant stress. Job Design Some jobs are just not well-designed, i.e. they contain requirements and features that are inherently stressful. This may include a heavy workload caused by […]

Stress News: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Stress and the Unborn Overexposure to stress hormones in the womb can program the potential for adverse health effects in those children and the next generation, but effects vary depending on whether the mother or father transmits them, a new animal study suggests. The results were presented this past Saturday at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd […]

Female Soldiers At Greater Risk for PTSD

Results of a 3-year longitudinal study of 2665 female National Guard soldiers began in 2008 of their mental health status before and after their deployment to Iraq provides new evidence that women have more than twice the risk of developing combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than their male counterparts, 18.7% vs. 8.7%. Women soldiers, with […]

The Bipolar Hippocampus

A Vanderbilt University study just published in the Archives of General Psychiatry reveals that hippocampal interneurons are modified by bipolar depression. The hippocampus is an important component of the limbic system that acts as the switching center through which incoming sensory signals are retransmitted and initiate behavioral reactions for different purposes. Its importance has been […]

Stress in Pregnancy a Health Risk for the Child

An anxious expectant father can make a pregnant woman more anxious, and their combined higher level of stress can have a negative influence on the health of their newborn child. While it is a well-known fact that significant mental distress in pregnant women due to anxiety, lack of social support or low self-esteem can result […]

The Stress of… Stress

There are times in which the stress reaction and the level of anxiety caused by a stressor are so high that the body’s reactions become extreme and add to the burden. Stress becomes stressful in itself and a problem of its own. Although the stress reaction itself is normal and necessary for survival, learning and […]

Worst Stress Relievers: Prescription Drugs

More and more people in America seek relief from stressors by using artificial means, rather than developing the skills needed to cope with them naturally. Overdose mortality has now become a pressing public health problem. According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2007 the rate of unintentional overdose in […]

Stress Hardware Review: The HPA

In addition to genetic factors, there are many external factors that influence our individual vulnerability to stress, including childhood trauma, early environmental factors, major life events or physical illness. These factors can influence the intensity and duration of our stress reaction, in many cases producing long-lasting effects. The stress caused by traumatic events may cause […]

Stress of Cell Phone Use Disturbs Sleep, Mood

Evidence of a direct link between cell phone use and mental health problems just keeps on coming. A major prospective study over a period of one year of young adults who used their cell phones frequently reveals significant disturbances to sleep patterns, increased stress symptoms, and an increased incidence of clinical depression. Researchers at the […]