In the early part of 1980, Time Magazine called stress “The Epidemic of the Eighties” saying that this is the leading health problem of society and government in this century. And more than twenty years later, the problem seems to have worsened. Stress has become a household word everyone must face and contend with.
Stress is a medical term for a wide range of strong external stimuli, both physiological and psychological, which can cause a physiological response called the general adaptation syndrome. There are two types of stress namely eustress, which is the so called "positive stress" and distress, the "negative stress". Roughly, these mean challenge and overload respectively.
Although a number of people refuse to accept they are beset with stress, it is a fact that everyone regardless of age, gender and status in society, are afflicted with stress at one time or another.
Medical experts have been moved to undergo further investigations on how to stop stress. However, as researches expanded, instead of finding means to stop stress, they discovered that stress has become a major cause of a number of ailments.
Researches divulged that stress at work has been linked with heart disease. It has been associated with loss of appetite, ulcers, mental disorder and migraines. Likewise stress has been said to cause difficulty in sleeping, emotional instability, disruption of social and family life. It was pointed to cause increased use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Stress, they say, can also affect worker attitudes and behavior. Some frequently reported consequences of stress among hospital workers are difficulties in communicating with very ill patients, maintaining pleasant relations with coworkers, and judging the seriousness of a potential emergency.
Stress Brings Pain
With stress taking the helm of the most common causes of diseases, pain, on the other hand followed through. Of course, the ailment caused by stress goes hand in hand with pain. Thus pain relievers have become a must-have in any household.
At the strike of pain, these pills become the first recourse of sufferers. Experts say that despite its subjective quality, the experience of pain is both real and reverberating. As one writer describes it, pain is dehumanizing. The severer the pain, the more it overshadows the patient's intelligence.
All she or he can think about is pain: there is no past pain-free memory, no pain-free future, only the pain-filled present. Pain destroys autonomy: the patient is afraid to make the slightest movement. All choices are focused on either relieving the present pain or preventing greater future pain, and for this, one will sell one's soul.
Pain is humiliating: it destroys all sense of self-esteem accompanied by feelings of helplessness in the grip of pain, dependency on drugs, and being a burden to others. In its extreme, pain destroys the soul itself and all will to live.
Pain is more than physical. Unknown to many, pain causes lifestyle changes.
Untreated pain or pain not under control has a significant unfavorable impact on the sufferer’s quality of life. It affects their ability to concentrate, do their job, exercise, socialize, get a good night’s sleep, do leisure time activities, perform chores around home and have sex.
Emotional impact is also significant. Untreated pain or pain not under control makes people more depressed, irritable, listless and feeling useless and unable to cope. Overall, when pain comes under control there is significant improvement in what they can do and how they feel.
There is an exception to this. Those with severe or very severe pain still have a significantly less favorable quality of life and emotional well- being than is the case among moderate pain sufferers.
With these effects of pain on people's lives, pain relievers undeniably play a vital role. The tiny bitter pill may be the key to save lives, act as a “fire extinguisher” to control big fires, or maybe a policeman to catch a criminal. It may be too small, but the impact it has on the sufferer is too great that pain killers can indeed save lives.
In our present day society, characterized by stress and pain, these relievers can do great wonders, although sometimes, often taken for granted.