I was just listening to the latest In The Trenches podcast. It’s normally a techie podcast but today Kevin had a nice interview with David Newberger, who spent quite a bit of time dealing with health issues that the doctor’s couldn’t diagnose. Turns out he was suffering from Conversion Disorder, which is where he developed physical symptoms as the result of unrecognized stress in his life.
Having spent plenty of time learning about how stress affects my own brain chemistry and finding out about healthy ways to deal with stress so as to avoid slipping back into major depression, I was quite interested in the subject. I know that the defense mechanisms I developed as an abused child, in order to survive that stress, led to major problems later in life when I wasn’t capable of dealing with stress normally. I had simply never learned how and not dealing with stress can cause an amazing number of problems.
David’s inability to recognize stress and deal with it probably didn’t result from his childhood like mine did, but it’s still a very good example of what stress can do to you, and why it’s so important not only to find ways to deal with your own stress, but to help other people deal with theirs.