© John R Nolan 17/6/02 

    There is contention about the relevance of STRESS, in the home and work place to the mental state of our society.What is it’s origin, is it a true illness or is it a sign of a section of our community, society who are desperately seeking new excuse to avoid work and shift responsibilities for their anti-social behavioual patterns?

     Alternate opinions or compilation of thoughts on this supposed psychosis, which is rapidly debilitating a large section of the community, are being presented regularly, but there seems little interest or response from the medical fraternity and the medical health system into what the true causes of this condition is.
     These thoughts may expose ideas and stimulate the reader’s mind with opportunities to consider STRESS from a less challenging position. 
    There is ample evidence that STRESS is here to stay, as an integral factor in our overall community health spectrum, thus it is imperative we, as a community, look at every possible means available to deal with the challenges this threat provides.

    Stress has been a constant factor in society since Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden of Eden by God, for failing to follow work instructions, union work place health and safety conditions and sheer foolishness.

    The medical profession, (or is it the drug manufacturers?) have introduced this diagnosis of STRESS, as a quick fix analysis of bad hair days and has turned it into an easy diagnosis for everything from a poor nights sleep, low self esteem, lose of money at the races, lover’s tiffs, supermarket trauma, road rage. anything. STRESS is very possibly a purely psychomatic illness, and does not need, nor can actualy be treated, with chemicals.                                     

    It appears logical to look for evidence that provides glimmers of hope rather than consternation and gloom, for those who are involved in this Mental Ill health scenario. It is needful to offer hope of seeing a far more positive outcome for those confronting STRESS, at the finish of the day, rather than despair.
    There is plenty of information that will provide, assist the reader to contend with the ever growing, indeed gargantuan explosion in the percentage of our community now seeking assistance in this area; EVERYBODY IS STRESSED !

   It is time for you, the reader, to consider some alternate information to help you consider STRESS from different perspectives.

“Hey, is everyone stressed?”

“No, just lots of people have been hyped up, talked into thinking they are stressed because they are finding the rapidly changing social system hard to keep up with.” replied the waiter, as he deposited the next round of chillied, garlic prawns on the bench.
    We are mammals; in our flesh, we are animals. It is our mental capabilities to forward plan, to reason, and our conscience, that separates us from the cows, the lions and tigers, the rats.  Not our flesh, though, it is made out of the same materials as those of the beasts.

   When one considers a lot of human behaviour toward each other, the animals and the world, one could question our supposed ascendancy. We have conscience, and memory, which allows us to act at a supposedly higher level of morality and social interaction than the beasts of the field, haven’t we? 
    As animals we need an established, secure home environment, stable relationships and we find it difficult, dis-quietening, to contend with constant, continuous CHANGE .
   Neither our brain, nor that of the animal, handles constant change well. We need a secure, dependable environment in which to live a stable life.

   Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a widely published author of medical books, which encourage readers to look at illness, of many kinds, from vastly different perspectives than those provided by the majority of practioners in the Western medical profession.
   In his book, “Can Stress Heal.” {Bookman Press 1997} he proposes that we are looking at STRESS from a very negative point of view, seeing it as an enemy, rather than as a tool the individual can utilize to vastly improve not only their life style but their physical, emotional and mental health

    Cooper states, on page 29 of this book, that there are three major categories of STRESS triggers.
                                 # Personal crisis
                                  #General work environment stress
                                   #Difficult, age related stress

   Dr. Cooper differentiates between POSITIVE and NEGATIVE stress and suggests we can use many ’NEGATIVE’ stress situations as tools to increase our self esteem; tools to improve our abilities in contributing positively to our family, society, work place and environment.
    We can use STRESS to eliminate chronic paranoia, to cope with events we are finding difficult to adjust, or adapt to.     
    Poor sleeping patterns, unhealthy eating habits, use of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other mind-altering drugs, (including the prescribed ones) have a debilitating effect on the body. These can produce the symptoms referred to as STRESS.
    A diet lacking in minerals, amino acids and enzymes are amongst the MAJOR contributors to the explosion of STRESS related, or perceived problems our society is facing today.
    We suggest a high percentage of the community who are suffering from STRESS are victims of much deeper problems caused by imbalance in their life styles, dietary requirements, educational experiences and environments.
    The proposals put forward throughout Cooper’s book on STRESS, are clearly documented and relevant to our understanding of the CAUSES of stress; incorrect diet; lack of sleep; lack of laughter; are matters intrinsically intertwined with all forms of mental ill health. 

     Addressing these matters is vital if we are to develop viable tools to help people help themselves, in their recovery, from whatever STRESS problems they confront.
    It is imperative we address these physical issues if we hope to see any long term progress, positive results, in our society. Especially if we want a constructive future, for all people, in this fast changing, dog eat dog world.
   The life styles of many people complaining of STRESS related symptoms, sore back, headaches, irritability, inability to achieve goals, poor concentration levels are directly effected by diet and sleep patterns.
    Inability of individuals to maintain good relationships with family and friends, to successfully interact and socialise also reveal little attention paid, by many practioners, to the basic survival requirements of the individual’s physical condition and life style. 
     We are too quick on the trigger with new pills, new analysts, all sorts of potential placebos, rather than addressing the lifestyle changes that can help resolve our symptoms, without dependence on medical practitioners or drugs.
    How is it that G.P’s, who have not done extensive study in psychiatry are allowed to prescribe PSYCHOTIC drugs to their patients?
    The tumultuous flood of new, UN-TESTED drugs into the market is producing horrific side effects in our community.  G.P.’s do not have the time required to read pages and pages of data provided by  drug manufacturers, about each of their new products, their effects, their possible side effects and their dangers. Nor, for that matter, do the drug manufacturers have any real knowledge of these issues.
    Doctors generally have no idea of the effects these drugs will have on their patients, nor do they have any true understanding of the possible side effects these drugs can have on people.
    It is commonly stated amongst clients of the Mental Ill Health services, that the starting on medication was the most destructive, soul destroying experience many had.
    Yes, there are some cases where medications are essential to stabilize a client having a psychotic episode, but should that client be condemned to a life of dependence on such medication, or are there alternate means of support?
    The loss of SELF ESTEEM, SELF RESPECT, INDEPENDENCE, INDIVIDUALITY, bought about by these drugs have done a thousand times more damage, than the original illness, in the opinion of many clients who have spoken out on such issues. 
   The thoughts put forward by Dr. Cooper, establish a wealth of alternative information available, addressing simple, natural ways to alleviate STRESS in our lives, as do many natural alternative health books.  Here we may ask if there is a clear understanding of STRESS, APATHY and DEPRESSION?
   Is it possible that ‘DEPRESSION’ is a misnomer for other, more complex issues? That STRESS is a word being used, out of context, to describe a very wide range of psychoses of which the medical profession has little comprehension?

    We need remember that G.P’s, unless they have specialized in this field,  have limited understanding of Psychiatry, of Mental illness, and, as a result of their inadequate training, are inclined to see psychoses as a symptom that some range of medications may resolve.
                            “Take another pill, try this new medication”
    Some medical practitioners described the pressures they are under, from drug manufacturers, to prescribe the latest pills, even though the doctor him / herself has no real idea what effect the medication may have on any individual patient. A careful reading of the ‘possible side effects’ lists provided with all psychiatric medicines should be enough to warn every doctor NOT TO PRESCRIBE THEM.
    Psychiatric illness needs psychiatric assessment and treatment, not experiments with varying types of medication. Nor do we find STRESS described in earlier dictionaries as a mental condition. 
    The Oxford dictionary (1963) describes stress as:
1 Constraining or compelling force
2 Effort, demand upon energy
3 Emphasis, convey that one attaches importance to
4 Force exerted between contiguous bodies
5 Accent, emphasize,

    The Macquarie dictionary does include a psychological interpretation
9. ‘the state of being under great mental or emotional pressure’.
Does this imply that STRESS did not exist as a social mental condition prior to 1963? 
     Possibly, because they place the responsibility of good health back on the individuals, these ideas are not addressed amongst the medical fraternity nor discussed in the media nor community.
     Possibly, because it removes the laziness element, the laize-faire attitude of many people toward their health, these ideas are not widely accepted nor promoted. Could it be that multi national, multi $ billion drug industries are content killing the public with pills rather than helping people to use FREE, natural techniques to resolve much, if not all, of their STRESS?

“Surely not” you naively retort.
     The wealth of information available about alternate medical procedures or cures are ample evidence of the need for all working in the Mental ILLNESS industry to seriously reconsider their attitudes and biases, to adopt, as is now being done extensively overseas, and in some places in Australia, new ways to approach STRESS.
    Our need to utilize NEW techniques, as positive tools, to help those with such illness to recovery is essential, or do we continue, as a society, to stumble along, afraid of CHANGE? 
     Psychiatrists, psychologists, politicians are declaring fear of change is a drastic step that is blocking society’s progress into a brave new mess.
Fear of change need be eliminated if we wish to see change.

    Why is the medical profession one of the hardest to encourage into changes of attitudes and treatments?

    The populace is hoping, expecting to see those who suffer from excessive STRESS magically recover, to change.
    There need be major alterations to medical attitudes if we hope to see any progress in this area, to gain knowledge and support, to utilize the techniques now available.
    It is time to look at a broader range of theraputic tools, rather than relying on those currently being used, generally without much success.
    Many psychiatric techniques have been in use for many years and are in need of revision. It is true, if one uses the same techniques, continues to do things the same way, it is foolish to expect different results or expect change.

     There are many analogies, many slick clichés available about the stupidity in expecting different results when we continue using the same formulae.

                  “The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Work book “
 Martha Davis, Ph.D   E.R. Eshelman, M.S.W., Matthew Mckay, Ph.D,
 {New Harbringer Publications 1995}, is another of many books supporting fundamental changes in the Mental ILLNESS industry.
    Major changes in our educational programs, the introduction of courses in which people are given tools to control their lives, and make each individual much more responsible for their health, their welfare, will be the most practical are essential.
    One change of prime import is teaching our children the joys of self respect, helping them to see the good in themselves instead of allowing our educational system, and, especially, the parents, to negatively brain wash a child’s attitude to themselves, and, thus, to the society in which they live
 LONG TERM approaches, to the potentially nation bankrupting explosion in the numbers suffering from STRESS related illnesses, are necessary NOW, YESTERDAY. 
      The enormity of the problem we face as a result in our failure to address these matters much earlier, in spite of warnings from many eminent writers, is beyond the comprehension of most politicians and practitioners.       
    We need be teaching people other ways to deal with their lives instead of taking the easy, pill popping, analyst dependent path to sickness.
     These thoughts may be considered, by many, as contentious, rebellious, arrogant, which is great, but they need be addressed immediately or many more unwitting citizens will become victims of the MIND KILLING MACHINE, modern medicine. 

Hopefully we will stimulate some response, on your part, about how you can help change each other’s mental ILLNESS into mental HEALTH .
   Onesuggests the techniques used and described by Dr. Cooper’s and many other such books are without doubt, sufficiently researched, documented and presented to stimulate all people in this industry to pay more attention to the alternatives that are available.
    There is much emphasis placed, by the media and through the medical profession magazines, etc., implying that the current system of diagnosis and treatments are sufficient to deal with the ever expanding mental ill-health problem.
    One would suggest this is a fantasy, perpetrated by politicians, the public service hierarchy and the A.M.A. because the magnitude of the problem is beyond their comprehension.
                              {Hey! Most of them are on drugs too!}
   The increase in mental illness is horrific. It is suggested  90+% of our community is on some form of medication to get them through the day
We need remember this includes those who are using narcotics such as nicotine and alcohol, marijuana, uppers, downers, in and outers, which many tend to ignore in calculations of drug usage.
      This figure includes politicians, doctors, teachers, priests, nurses, airline pilots, everybody.
                 Do you realize how dangerous it is out there?
     You don’t know who is on what and in many instances we are placing our lives in the hands of people who are, unbeknownst to us, out of their face on some sort of medication or drug.
                     Makes you think, doesn’t it?
       It is suggested in an American survey, that up to 85% of traffic fatalities probably involve suicide by one of the parties involved.
     Researchers suggest, the majority of citizens killed in road accidents are possibly victims of murder at the hands of a perpetrator mentally damaged by social, emotional, physical or spiritual trauma.
   Possibly they are victims of a deeply disturbed citizens who, pilled out of their mind, for one fatal moment lose the plot and begin looking for revenge against the entire society.
   It is possible that a person driving a car, who is experiencing a psychotic or severe depressive episode may, in a moment, choose to swerve into oncoming traffic, regardless of injury or death to other drivers. A study some years ago in the U.S.A. suggested up to 85% of road deaths could be directly related to depressive characteristics or psychoses.

     Yes, when we look at the structure of our society we find many scary statistics, many terrifying tales and a complete failure of our leaders to recognize what is going on.
    The whole world is psychotic and it is getting worse every day, not only in the Western nations, but globally. 

    Since the introduction of global terrorism, at the hands of demonically controlled / possessed lunatics, who hate all Western / Christian peoples, we now live in a world where none can walk any street without that twinge of fear in the back of the mind.
    There is no such thing as insanity, as there is no SANITY, it is nothing more than a state of mind one chooses to adopt. Possibly this is INSANITY.
   You are reacting positively to these thoughts, that’s fine. It is only  an opinion here expressed. What is stated is response to observation of community attitudes, concerns and discussions.
    We could be nothing more than ’PACMEN’ in some miniscule cosmic computer game, though our ego’s are repulsed and will fight that thought violently, if necessary.
    Prove to yourself that you exist, independently of this dimension.
   There is no way to vindicate the authenticity of any part of our existence, except within the domain, the dimensions we identify through our five senses.   
    You learn that all we perceive is nothing more than a perception and neither you nor I have rights to insist our belief system or philosophy is correct unless we can vindicate or prove our hypotheses.            
                                        What is CORRECT?
      Can any of us provide a functional guidance system which is infallible and which suits every person’s individual needs? Many will say yes to that and we ask them to step forward with their information and vindication of their claims.
            “Stress is not a cause, neither is it a result of negative conditions, it is an escape mechanism we need learn to use correctly. ”
      That is the crux of the issue. We are wallowing in fear, allowing the media and medical profession to subjugate the community to hopeless fear, terror, that the community may be kept under control by politicians and religious warlords.

What is STRESS? Stress is a tool you need to consider, examine, find its cause and use it as a means to strengthen your own life, so you can overcome anything before you.

John R Nolan …dip. Mental Health, Youth Work and Housing 2002