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Stress in America

Continued from What is Stress

Key Stress Statistics

Impact on Normalcy: Despite celebrations of a return to “normal” after the pandemic, the Stress in America™ survey reveals ongoing posttraumatic effects impacting mental and physical health.

Significant Sources of Stress:

  • COVID-19 pandemic aftermath
  • Global conflicts
  • Cries of racism and racial injustice
  • Inflation
  • Perceived climate-related disasters
  • Rise in chronic Illnesses

Among adults aged 35 to 44, chronic illnesses increased from 48% in 2019 to 58% in 2023.

Increase in Mental Health Diagnoses:

  • Adults aged 35 to 44 saw an increase in mental health diagnoses from 31% in 2019 to 45% in 2023.
  • Adults aged 18 to 34 reported the highest rate of mental illnesses at 50% in 2023.
  • Physical Health Impacts: Prolonged stress has led to inflammation, immune system wear, and an increased risk of digestive issues, heart disease, weight gain, cancer and stroke.
  • Need for Posttraumatic Growth: Recognition of over one million American deaths and shifts in societal structures necessitates understanding and addressing persistent psychological wounds for posttraumatic growth.

Sources:   CompareCamp     American Psychological Association

The Science of Stress

Continued from What is Stress

General Stress Response

Hans Selye, MD, PhD defined stress as the body’s nonspecific response to any demand pleasant or unpleasant. Selye hypothesized a general adaptation syndrome.

There are three components to the general adaptation syndrome. The first stage, termed the alarm stage, represents a mobilization of the body’s defensive forcesit prepares for the “fight or flight” syndrome. This involves hormones and chemicals excreted at high levels as well as an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, respiration rate, etc. In the second phase, the stage of resistance, the body becomes adaptive to the challenge and even begins to resist it. The length of this stage depends on the body’s innate and stored adaptation energy reserves and the intensity of the stressor. Just as machines wear out, so do living organisms that are victims of constant wear and tear. The adaptation is lost if the individual is subject to still greater exposure to the stressor. In the third and final phase, the organism enters into the exhaustion stage and then dies because it has used up its adaptation energy. Thankfully, few people ever experience this last stage!

Stress diseases are maladies caused principally by errors in the body’s general adaptation process. They will not occur when all the body’s regulatory processes are properly checked and balanced. They will not develop when adaptation is facilitated by improved perception and interpretation. The biggest problems with derailing the general adaptation syndrome and causing disease is an absolute excess, deficiency, or disequilibrium in the amount of adaptive hormones – for example, corticoid, ACTH, and growth hormones produced during stress. Unfortunately, if stress is induced chronically, our defense response lowers its resistance because fewer antibodies are produced and an inflammatory response dwindles.

Lewis Coleman, MD’s Landmark Discovery in the Science of Stress

Continued from What is Stress

Lewis Coleman, MD, Chief Science Officer at The American Institute of Stress

Professor Hans Selye, “the father of stress medicine,” had another idea based on his observation that people with widely varying diagnoses exhibited similar symptoms. He coined the term “stress,” in the context of how we use the term today, defining how we react to any demands placed upon our bodies and minds. Although he was a prolific researcher and founded a new concept of physiology, there wasn’t sufficient science in his day to finish the task of replacing putative concepts with known facts.

After working on it for over 20 years, anesthesiologist Dr. Lewis S. Coleman has uncovered the Mammalian Stress Mechanism originally proposed by Hans Selye, explaining how the relationship between illnesses and the environment stress us, and how our bodies naturally respond by repairing us and making us whole again. This Unified Theory of Medicine and Biology explains how treatments that restore normal stress mechanism activity can cure disease and save lives. This is the zenith of 20th century science and the most important advance in the history of medicine and biology for the 21st century.

The Winter 2022 issue of Contentment magazine introduces The Mammalian Stress Mechanism as discovered by Dr. Coleman. Subscriptions are FREE. Sign Up and read about this amazing breakthrough today at the nonprofit The American Institute of Stress.

The stress mechanism is complex, beautiful, and a force of nature. It normally functions efficiently and unobtrusively to supply oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body, to maintain and repair tissues when they are injured, regulate blood flow, breathing, digestion and excretion. Combinations of tissue damage and hyperactive nervous system activity overwhelm the stress mechanism causing it to waste the body’s resources and produce excessive and defective substances that damage tissues and disrupt organ function. This manifests as disease.

All the time, money and human toll invested in attempting to cure cancer and so many other diseases made little progress because it was all based on an incomplete and often flawed physiology. Now if medical schools, researchers, and governments embrace and shift resources along the way Dr. Coleman informs us, healthcare in the near future will not only be far more effective, but it will also be kinder, gentler, working with our bodies rather than overpowering us. So called “modern medicine” will languish in history in the way we think of medieval medicine now. Dr. Coleman’s new book is the new bible of medicine and requires and deserves intense study and adoption in every field of healthcare. Dr. Lewis S. Coleman is truly the father of 21st century medicine.

50 Years Lost in Medical Advance: The discovery of Hans Selye’s stress mechanism by Lewis S. Coleman, MD, FAIS, published by the American Institute of Stress Press is available on Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.

“The full implications of this compendious work could well alter all fields of medicine if research based on these ideas bear fruit.” — W.A.C. Mutch, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Director Neuroanesthesia Research Laboratory, Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine Researcher, Health Sciences Centre at the University of Manitoba.

“The core theory with mechanisms and some practical applications are extremely insightful and should not be missed by anyone interested in their own health or in how our medical and research system is searching in unhelpful domains and applying less than helpful theoretical applications. [Dr. Coleman’s] book and its theory need to find their way into the minds of our current thought leaders and funding recipients and anyone actually trying to reduce human diseases.” — Elliott English, Director of Telehealth Operations for BlueStar Telehealth.

The Most Important Statistics About Teen Stress

Continued from Who Gets Stressed/Teens

According to WORLDMETRICS REPORT 2024

  • NCCP reports that 29% of high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row.
  • More than a quarter of teens (27%) feel extreme stress during the school year, versus 13% in the summer.
  • Only 8% of teens say their stress level is declining.
  • According to an APA survey, 42% of teens do not know they can develop unhealthy habits due to stress.
  • Experts on adolescent stress estimate that 10% of teenagers experience such a high level of school-related stress that they consider dropping out.
  • In a sample of 467 teenagers, about 38.4% reported having felt stressed.
  • Over 54% of female teens and 43% of male teens reported feeling stressed daily.
  • As reported by the American Psychological Association, about 56% of teens considered homework a primary stressor.
  • Among teens who say they feel stress, 83% turn to music to help them cope, according to a survey by APA.
  • 69% of parents reported their teenager experiencing a significant amount of stress from school.
  • About 48% of students reported that they felt a great deal of stress on a daily basis.
  • About 44% of teenagers report being stressed because of arguments with friends.
  • Almost half (45%) of teens say they want to do something active or creative (dance, paint, etc.) after school, but often don’t have the time or resources.
  • Approximately 18.2% of teenagers experience an anxiety disorder due to extreme stress.
  • 29.6% of teens, as a result of stress, had started lying awake at night feeling anxious.