June is Men’s Health Month
VIDEO: Three men/boys kill themselves every hour of every day. Would you recognize the symptoms if your son, husband, father or friend is depressed? Men generally don’t show the “classic” signs of depression nor do they typically reach out for help or seek medical attention.
Even trained clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose depression in men than in women. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Will Courtenay, “The Men’s Doc”, an internationally-recognized expert on men’s emotional health. We discuss the symptoms and causes leading up to depression in men, including postpartum depression in men. (Yes, really!)
It wasn’t that long ago that actor and comedian Robin Williams shocked the world by killing himself. Williams battled drug and alcohol abuse for decades and had open heart surgery in 2009. Heart patients often experience anxiety after their cardiac event.
This episode also includes a three-minute segment on “Pet Health”. Pets often help alleviate depression. Find out how to care for your senior pet with San Ramon veterinarian Dr. Glen Weber.
You eat healthy and exercise, but you have clogged arteries or worse yet, had a heart attack. You wonder how that could possibly be. Well, here’s one of the key (and most overlooked) reasons why… STRESS.
Are You Stressed Out?
Psychological stress can emerge when you’re unable to cope or respond to real-life demands (stressors), e.g., unemployment, caregiving for the the chronically ill, family dysfunction, poverty, and/or work, marital, or financial issues. According to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2011), there are two types of stress:
- Acute stress – short-term form of stress that stems from the demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future.
- Chronic stress – long-term form of stress that derives from unending feelings of despair/hopelessness.
Coping with Stress
Coping skills are essential in stress management. How well do you manage your stress? Take this 20-minute Coping and Management Skills Test in Psychology Today and find out. Click here for the 38-question self test.
Various studies have shown that exposure to persistent stress can result in long-term or permanent changes in the way you respond:
- Emotionally – e.g., increased likelihood of depression
- Physiologically – e.g., decreased ability to regulate inflammatory responses due to decreased tissue sensitivity to cortisol (your primary stress hormone and regulator of inflammation)
- Behaviorally – e.g., increased smoking, decreased exercise and sleep, poor medical compliance
These changes can affect your susceptibility to and the development and progression of disease. Continue reading “How Stress Causes Heart Attacks and Disease”