If you’ve never heard of John Green or his brother Hank Green, they are prolific YouTubers who have created a movement in America called ‘Nerdfighters’ or ‘Nerdfighteria’ which promotes the use and dissemination of education, knowledge and admittedly, being a ‘nerd’ – which isn’t such a bad thing these days.
In my previous post on the cost of stress the number of people behind clinical denominations of stress and anxiety such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, I wrote that even though the scale of the problem is tremendous, and recent studies point to more than 40% of diagnosed patients going untreated, not much has been done to look for epidemiologically-meaningful data behind stress.
My master’s thesis explored the effectiveness of Sensory Integration as an Occupational Therapy intervention. I am particularly interested in the ways that people control their own responses to stress. For example, someone may be described as an “adrenalin junkie” because they enjoy fast-paced activities such as motor-sports or roller-coasters. Personally, roller-coasters have often made me feel uneasy and I never enjoyed the anxiety-provoking wait in the queue. Paradoxically, I’ve always enjoyed go-karting and paint-balling.
It is clear that chronic stress and anxiety have enormous costs, both personal and economic. To address these costs, we need to get better at identifying the signs, symptoms and severity of stress (adaptive to pathologic), helping people understand and manage stress at the individual level, and identifying and actioning new pathways to treatment.