Has Toxic Stress become a part of our normal lives

Posted on November 21, 2013

Millions of Australians are stressed. This much is clear from the Australian Psychological Society's annual stress and wellbeing survey, the results of which were released last week. According to the survey, more than seven in 10 Australians feel stress is affecting their physical health, and 68 per cent of workers feel stress is having an impact on their mental health.

The survey comes on the back of a similar study by the Australia Institute last month that found an estimated 2.9 million Australians lose sleep due to work stress. The findings are being used to support the institute's annual Go Home on Time Day this Wednesday (going home on time now being just an annual thing apparently).

But it's a troublesome word, stress. Kind of shapeless and shadowy, and so statistics on it only tell so much. And for such a little word, a hell of a lot gets hidden behind it. By which I mean the stress idea - by always maintaining the focus on the individual - is often something of a cover for wider society tensions, injustices and inequalities.

In her book One Nation Under Stress, Dana Becker, an American professor of social work, writes how the concept of stress has been medicalised. What began as a social problem has been transformed and become in the public imagination more like a disease. So the more we have heard in recent decades about the damaging effects - the danger - of stress on our bodies, the more our attention has moved away from trying to change the social conditions that cause stress to instead dealing with our own health.

Click on the link below to read the full article


Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Brisbane Times


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