Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Does 'Stress' And 'Frustration' Differ, And What Kind Of 'Stress' Is Bad For My Heart?

Question: What is the difference between 'stress' and 'frustration,' and what kind of 'stress' is bad for my heart?

Answer: Stress is when bad things happen to you -- whether it's a stressful life event, like somebody dying, in the extreme, or a situation at work, where you're not getting the reward you feel you deserve, or the demands of your job are too high and you don't have much control over how you meet those demands, lack of social support in your family and circle of friends. These are all things that happen to you that make you have a reaction, like frustration.

Frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety -- these psychological responses to stress are accompanied by biological changes inside your body -- adrenaline, stress hormones. Also, people who are under stress, and feeling frustrated or depressed or anxious or angry, are more likely to engage in coping behaviors to help reduce the distress they feel. But sometimes these coping behaviors, like smoking, eating too much, drinking too much, can be bad for your heart.

So, between them, the biological responses to stress, and the behavioral responses, lead to -- in healthy people, the development of heart disease -- and in people who already have heart disease, they can make your heart disease worse, and make you more likely to have another heart attack or even die from it.

Can Stress Cause Me To Lose My Hair?

Question: Can stress cause me to lose my hair?

Answer: We all lose about a hundred hairs a day. But there are two forms of hair loss which can occur from excessive physical or emotional stress. The first and more common is hair loss which happens when the hair will stop growing, lie dormant, and fall out in about two to three months and then grow back again in about six to nine months.

The second type of hair loss is in reaction to a more extreme stress. That type of hair loss is called alopecia, and the hair can fall out in patches and even cover the entire scalp. If you think that stress is a factor -- because there are other factors, such as hereditary and illness, which can influence hair loss -- but if you think stress is a factor once again you need to return to looking at lifestyle changes, and see if making those changes make a difference.