If you find your health affected by long-term stress, you may be suffering physical, mental and emotional symptoms. It is safe to say that your stress did not begin yesterday, nor did your condition develop overnight.
Yet, if you consult your physician, the two of you may decide that medication may be just what you need to give you some quick relief from the symptoms you are experiencing.
Perhaps you are anxious, or you may find it hard to sleep. Maybe you are having problems with your stomach; an ulcer or digestive problems. However stress expresses itself in your life, your doctor can probably find a way to medicate the symptoms so you will feel better.
And there is no problem with that, IF THIS SOLUTION IS TEMPORARY and meant to tide you over until you can find a longer term answer to your stress.
Unfortunately, most people take the medicine prescribed and change nothing in their lives…and the stress continues. You may feel better because you are taking the medicine, but the stress may appear in other ways. You may begin to get headaches or feel fatigued all the time.
Yes, you can probably take medicine for those symptoms too, but the fact is that you will not be addressing the root of the problem, and if you do not find a way to get rid of the stress or mitigate the damaging results, you can suffer long-term damage to your physical, mental and emotional health.
Medication can ease or mask the symptoms, but it cannot take away the stress, and that is the problem.
If your stress is long-term, because of a bad situation at work, or a relationship that is plagued with arguing, mistrust or other problems, you must face and resolve the issue to get rid of the stress.
Or perhaps your stress is because of long hours at work or too much work. Maybe you are responsible for the care of a sick relative. Whatever it is, you must assess the cause of your stress and try to relieve it by changing your situation if you can.
If you can’t change the situation (perhaps you are in a family business and you can’t quit your job, or there is no one else to take care of your ailing mother), then you must come up with a plan to mitigate the effects of stress on your body.
An exercise program is valuable in relieving stress, as are meditation techniques, yoga and other activities that allow the body and mind to ‘work off’ or ‘process’ the stress in a different way.
If you need medication to get through the first phase of your plan, by all means, you can use it, but the long-term goal should be to find the source(s) of stress and either get rid of them, reduce them or learn to handle them better.
Achieving this balance will improve your physical, mental and emotional health and stop the stress ‘breakdown’ you are likely to experience if you merely mask your symptoms with medication and continue doing what you have always done.