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Stress, Diabetes, and general Health

Discussion in 'Emotional and Mental Health' started by CRPetersen, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. CRPetersen

    CRPetersen Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You can improve the way you and your children react to and manage stress, you can improve yours and your children’s resilience. You can add protective factors, developmental assets, new habits and skills that will help you and your children weather and even gain strength and vitality from most of the storms of life. You can also learn to better avoid those storms which are completely overpowering. Yes, you can even improve your health and the health of your children by better stress management.
    Stress is any type of pressure or strain, real or perceived. It can come from almost anywhere at any time. For many it will cause more difficulties when you are tired and run down, physically, emotionally, or both. Stress is often the feeling that accompanies a perception of loss of control, helplessness, and danger. Sometimes stress is a reaction by our body and mind attempting to defend itself. Sometimes this reaction is based more on perception than reality. Whether our stress response is based upon a real, or a perceived threat, the reaction of our body and mind is often the same or similar.


    Stress can come in the form of acute extreme short-term stress, episodic recurring stress, chronic constant stress and “normal life” stressors. How we react to or manage stress is often as important as or more important than the type of stress or the origin of the stress.


    Some stressors can be so unhealthy or dangerous, such as domestic violence, where you may need to extricate yourself or seek help as soon as possible.

    We all respond to stress a little differently and nutrition, fatigue, general health, as well as other mounting stressors can affect our action or reaction to stress. Sometimes what some perceive as a little stressor may just be the "final straw". Sometimes a meltdown may occur in a "safe place." As a children’s therapist, I witnessed many children lash out or “lose it” as a result of a perceived or real stressor in a clinic where they knew their actions, though there may still be consequences, would not result in physical violence against themselves. I spent a number of years on a board for a center helping victims of domestic violence. I learned it was common for women to erupt and appear to be the violent partner once law enforcement arrived, while the primary abuser would appear to be calmer and the one with better self-control. This often occurs because of the enormous buildup of internal stress and anxiety, which was finally released in the relative safety of the presence of law enforcement. The perpetrator, on the other hand, has already erupted and by the time law enforcement arrives may be experiencing what is sometimes referred to as post crisis drain.

    Stress does not always, and in fact for most of us, does not usually come from violence or cataclysmic events. Any kind of change can cause stress. Even good change can be very stressful until we have become accustomed to the change. Part of the reason for this is we spend much of our lives responding habitually to cues in our environment. Anytime we have any kind of change, we have to “think” more about what we are doing as we are developing new habits. This requires more energy and for some is stressful but for others in energizing. The difference can be in our attitude, our general health, or a combination.

    My father like many others experienced times of extreme stress. He was in the navy during World War II and it was only in his late declining years that I heard him talk about some of the horrors he experienced during the war. He was also a school teacher and farmer. He loved children, especially his own children and grandchildren. I remember him saying on many occasions, how we need to understand that while the stressors or worries of a little child may seem to be insignificant to us, they can be extremely significant to the child. Remember, this is someone who experiences what most would consider cataclysmic stressors.

    Be careful to never discount or trivialize what, may seem to you, to be an insignificant stressor for a child, friend, or loved one.

    An excellent and very short book I have read and pondered many times is: Love is Letting Go of Fear. There is much truth in its pages which can help many to re-frame and reduce their fears and accompanying stress.



    As mentioned above, stress can be the result of our perceptions, which may be based on faulty thinking.

    Behaviorists often think of ABC: Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence. Something happens, such as you walk into the mall and smell delicious and rich food you really should not eat (antecedent), you buy and eat the delicious food (behavior), you feel guilty and later feel poorly and you may gain weight (consequence). Albert Ellis developed theABCDE mnemonic for Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy.
    A = Activating event (This would be similar to the antecedent)
    B = Belief system (This is how and what we think about that event or antecedent)
    C = Emotional Consequences of A and B (This is how we feel about what we believe occurred, based upon our interpretation, which quite often is either wholly or partially incorrect)
    D = Disputing irrational thoughts and beliefs (This is the process of checking our believe system, this can be tough because it requires some humility. We have to realize that our interpretation could be wrong.)
    E = Cognitive and Emotional effects of revised beliefs (This is the result of rethinking, stepping back, applying some humility, perhaps some critical thinking, and seeking for and allowing the truth to emerge.)

    The problem that often arises when we skip this process and jump to conclusions…which sometimes become self-fulfilling prophecy adding more stress to our lives and often the life of another.

    SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

    Many of the following may indicate stress, but may also indicate something entirely different, either more or less serious. If you or someone else has one or more of these symptoms, do not jump to conclusions, just be aware that this could indicate mild or moderate stress. Some symptoms or a combination of many symptoms could indicate severe stress. Some of these could be typical of normal developmental conditions. Many of these symptoms could also be caused by medical/health conditions. If any of these persist or appear to be dangerous, consult with your physician or encourage the other person to do the same.

    Anyone could have symptoms from either of the columns below. The purpose of the division is to list those symptoms which are more easily noticed internally, and those symptoms which may be outwardly noticeable by others. Some of the symptoms could be in either list.


    Some of the Symptoms of Stress you may notice in yourself.


    Anxiety

    Depression or just chronically feeling sad (dysthymia)

    Difficulty concentrating

    Difficulty making decisions

    Difficulty with relationships (even if, or perhaps especially when you think it’s everyone else’s fault)

    Disbelief (profound)



    Ear ringing

    Fatigue (chronic, over many days for no apparent reason)

    Feelings of hopelessness

    Fear and anxiety

    Forgetfulness

    Headaches

    High Blood Pressure

    Numbness to feelings

    Overwhelmed (feeling)

    Pain (unaccounted for and prolonged)

    Shock

    Stiff neck or jaw

    Stomach irritation

    Tension


    Some of the Symptoms of Stress you may notice in others.

    Aggression, Anger (While aggression or anger CAN be symptoms of stress, they may also be an attempt to control a situation or another person, OR they may be symptoms ofdepression.)

    Cracking sound of the voice or mouth (from a dry mouth)

    Constipation or diarrhea

    Crying (more than typical or what would be expected)

    Distracted (more than usual, and over many days)

    Increase or decrease in appetite (significant, over many days)

    Irritability

    Lethargy (lack of or slow movement)

    Loss of interest in activities that had been important or of interest in the past. (This is also a common symptom of depression.)

    Nightmares

    Rapid speech (unusually rapid)

    Short Quick Movements

    Sleep problems or disturbances (also excessive or insufficient sleep over many days)

    Sweaty or cold hands

    Weight loss or gain (significant, and more than might be expected)



    There are now devices which were originally developed for children with Autism, (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to follow their moods and intervene before a "meltdown." Others, including adults have found the same devices useful in monitoring their own stress level. Such devices can help you to become more self-aware and take appropriate measures, such as will be discussed later in this article, before they have their own meltdown.


    According to: The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success: Steven J. Stein, PH.D. and Howard E. Book, M.D.

    Good stress management can be defined by:

    "Flexibility – Ability to adapt one’s feeling, thinking and behavior to change
    Stress Tolerance – Ability to effectively cope with stressful or difficult situations
    Optimism – Ability to remain hopeful and resilient, despite setbacks
    Additional Scale
    Happiness – Ability to feel satisfied with oneself, others, and life in general"

    page 24




    WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REDUCE AND/OR MANAGE STRESS?


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  2. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    The best ever help I have ever had in my life from anybody ref stress has been the help of my cancer therapists at Peterborough Robert Horwell Centre.

    They have been absolutely superb at destressing everything using a lot more than any of the above....

    I've been through pretty much all of the above listings and nothing compares to their excellent methods...
     
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