The New Poison of Our Age: Stress | Teen Ink

The New Poison of Our Age: Stress

October 11, 2007
By Anonymous

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t handle the pressure any more? I felt like that a year ago. My life seemed out of control. I was always in a rush, always late, always taking on too many projects and handling too many demands. But I never actually accepted it, I always explained my frequent stress as: “I have millions of stuff going on right now,” “Things are always crazy in here,” or “I have a nervous energy, that’s all.” But after a while “my nervous energy” actually started to effect me both physically and emotionally.
It was my finals week and as usual I was full of stress. I couldn’t calm down, my mind was full of worries. I was trying to concentrate but my brain wasn’t obeying my orders any more. My mind had announced its freedom and my thoughts were all confused. I had had sleep disturbances throughout the week and I was tired all the time. I was still not considering this situation as important but my body did. I began to lose weight quickly, I was no different than a skeleton. When I started to have terrible headaches and digestive problems, mom grabbed me from one arm without letting me say a word and took me to the hospital.
I have always afraid of the hospitals since my childhood. That was probably because my dad was a brain surgeon and he had spent all of his time in the hospital. I hated the smell of the unlikable corridors, they had always smelled like sickness, mixed with strong medecin and detergent smell. It was just the same again. We sat down and started to wait. I stared at the sick people in the emergency room. There was a sudden hurry, probably an urgent patient was brought. The doctors hurried and the operating room was ready a second later. I looked at my watch again, only 5 minutes had passed. I started to complain about that hospital and the doctors, it was nonsense because I was overreacting to small problems. When my name was finally called by the nurse on duty, a pain in my chest was killing me. She showed me the neurology corridor and I was finally in the doctor’s room, lying on the bed.
First my heart rate was checked. The doctor didn’t seem glad from what he had seen. His serious face made me even more anxious. When I asked him about the results he explained that my heart beating was irregular and that was also the cause of the pain in my chest. I was feeling as if the room was lack of oxygen, I was breathing with difficulty so they had to bring an oxygen mask. After a while a cardiologist arrived my room, because they were suspicious of me having a coronary heart disease. He asked me if I had migraines. I didn’t but I had serious headaches. Then he checked my blood pressure and again it was higher than it was supposed to be. After some other tests he told me that I was most likely to have “episodic acute stress.” I didn’t even know what that meant. He explained that, it was my body’s reaction to my exhausting work schedule, perfectionism and mainly because of the stress I had created. He added that I was pushing my body too hard and it had lost its ability to cope with the hard situations any more. That’s why stress had become a threat to both my physical and emotional well-being, and it had made me an aggressive, impatient person.
After spending some time in the hospital, the doctor gave me some medecin and took me to a recovery program. I was supposed to avoid stress and give myself some time to relax. Now, I don’t panic any more during a presentation, while writing an essay for the next day or studying for my midterm when I’d better be watching TV. And when it gets even harder in some situations, “I can’t stand this” thought never echos in my brain. Because I know I should stand it, cause life is tough and stress is just something we made up to make our lives tougher.

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