You Think YOU Got Stress?


I always considered myself a naive person in many ways.

From my overprotective family, who had serious worries about my crossing the street without someone holding my hand even when pushing forty, I moved, through several exotic domiciles, into a marriage where my husband would never dream of permitting me to cross a street without holding my hand.

I must be the only woman in the history of the world who decided to become a “Marijuana doctor” because of no ideological or political agenda, but rather, its superior psychopharmacological qualities.  I may be the only marijuana doctor who was not a user.

So I was trying to do a “good faith examination” — which most marijuana doctors never did — of an 18-year-old who told me he needed a marijuana card because he had “stress you wouldn’t believe, lady” and no discernable serious (or for that matter, miniscule) medical illness.

Me, I knew from stress.  Trying to serve my medical ideals while working with some form of the healthcare establishment to earn a living was not exactly as stress-free as, say, sitting around eating chopped liver.

And I felt no need to do marijuana whatsoever.

Of course, I am not exactly the type of human who dies for a benzodiazepine — You know:  Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam) — when I feel stress.

What exactly is stress?  I am not going to put you through a recap of the exciting physiological and biochemical changes that happened when Fred Flintstone met a sabertooth tiger and had to decide whether to buck and run or stay and fight.

Let’s start with some good simple modern life, day to day practical steps for dealing with stress.

1.  Do something physical.  At least a brisk walk.  Jog or gym exercise or stretch or dance.  (Hint; do not go out and sign up for a year’s gym membership today.  Start easy and go slow.)

2.  Talk to somebody about what is happening.  Trusted friend or family may be a reasonable place to start.

Whatever happened to you happened to someone else before.  There are support groups for plenty of things. And yes, there are mental health professionals.

3. If you are short on rest and/or sleep, try getting more of these things.

There are millions of specialized techniques that can help, from medication to (self?) hypnosis.  From logical, nuts and bolts things like manage your time and keep a diary to using prayer if that is where your belief system sends you.

You may need more emergent methods if you are having thoughts of harming anyone or doing anything destructive.  If you need to, it is okay to use emergency rooms or 911; that’s what they are there for.

You may need to consult with a primary care physician, for starting to feel an increased sensitivity to stress may be an initial sign of a physical or mental illness.

If this just feels like a gentle need to review and strengthen your coping mechanisms, here is an uncommonly good review of the basics of those:


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