Chronic Stressors

Chronic Stressors

On top of all of the stressors mentioned in the movie, other times where the release of cortisol is initiated can include credit card debt, student loan debt, having to worry about clean water, and worrying about your children’s education.

Have you ever seen those commercials for those anti-depressants of a man/woman walking around with a stormy cloud over their head while the rest of the world around them is glimmering and sunny? This is what it is like for people with credit card debt. The thought of their financial issues hangs like a dark cloud over people’s heads making even the brightest of days darker. The same goes for student loan debt. No matter what a person is trying to do, their is always that ache in the back of their mind that they are thousands of dollars in debt. Unfortunately, high interest rates help to create and reinforce these debt stressors which means people are stuck with their debt for decades.

Worry that stems from issues of dirty water and poor education for one’s kids can also lead to chronic stress and mostly only affect the poorer class of people. Availability to clean water and good education comes from living in wealthier neighborhoods and unfortunately many poorer neighborhoods must purchase expensive water filters or take long transportation rides in order to get to good schools.

Other worries stemmed from racism can create chronic stress. In particular, predominantly African-American or Muslim neighborhoods must worry about the threat of police violence simply for the reason of these people’s ethnicities. This can lead to high amounts of stress when someone is simply walking down the streets everyday.

These are just some stressors that occur in poorer class citizens lives. Can any of you name anymore? How can we fix these inequities?

10 thoughts on “Chronic Stressors

  1. There are definitely a lot of stressors in everyone’s lives. Some examples for students aside from things like student debt are exams, lots of studying, homework and relationships.

    It is not necessarily easy to fix the stressors in peoples’ lives as many of them are big issues. For example, dealing with finances is something that is unique to each person. As you mentioned, student loans can be stressful for people our age and one way to help with that is to create a plan on how those loans can be paid off. You also mentioned the lack of clean water being a stressor and I immediately think of the Flint water crisis. We can all help reduce that as a stressor by helping the citizens of Flint and raising awareness about the issue.

  2. The stressors you mentioned are all great examples and there are so many more. The smallest events in our lives can even lead to chronic stress. For instance, just changing your diet or shopping for the right holiday gift could be stressful. Although stress is normal, accumulating too much of it or facing prolonged exposure to it is bad for our health and thats why taking the time to destress is encouraged by health professionals.

    However, stressors that stem from racism or class position such as the ones you mentioned are difficult to avoid as they are apart of an individuals everyday life or identity. To ensure that everyone is equally healthy, these inequities would have to be eliminated so that not one person faces more stress than another. Which is easier said than done but working to get there itself would be the beginning of the end of the issue.

  3. Stress can be beneficial or detrimental depending on how it is affecting our lives. There are so many factors that could create stress for people, and every individual experiences and deals with stress in their lives differently. In my opinion, it is up to the individual to determine what steps he/she need to take to fix the stressors that are present in his/her lives. In addition, it is very important that they are in a healthy mental state to be able to conquer the stress that is affecting them, and if something is too much for them to handle, they can seek for help from another individual to provide them guidance. Stress is inevitable, but it is vital that people learn how to deal the stressors that are in their lives without causing themselves harm.

  4. many of the stressors that you mentioned are very prevalent in today’s society. Where ever we turn, there is some source of stress to add to our own growing amount of stress that we have. Every age comes with its set of stressors. When we are young, we stress about what birthday gift we should get our friend. When we become high school and college student, the source of stress expands to exams, relationships and deciding what future career and life we want to pursue. As we get older we get even more sources and this goes on and on. Stress in inevitable in life but it should be experienced in a chronic manner as described in the documentary that we watched because it can cause health issues.
    Since everyone has their own unique set of sources that cause stress in their life, it is hard to offer personalized help unless it is sought individually which is a resource that is most likely available to a small percentage of the population because it would be expensive. I think the best way to combat that is to educated the public of good ways to relax. That way, people would have an idea on where to start reducing their stress and to live their life in a better way.

  5. Owen, you mentioned many prominent examples of chronic stress in our society today. I agree with Yasser that stress accumulates throughout daily experiences. We learned at the health and wellness conference that there is good stress and bad stress, or eustress and distress. As pre-health students who often stress about coursework and exams, we’ve had a lot of experience distinguishing the difference between eustress and distress. If we’re not stressed enough, we won’t perform well in the course; on the other hand, if we’re too stressed, we not only won’t do well in the course but we may also hinder our mental and physical wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to find a personal balance with stress.
    Chronic stress caused by societal suppression and financial depression, however, is less easy to balance. It is especially difficult when this stress may stem from race, religion, or gender- things one has no control over. To answer your question about how to fix these inequities, I believe the broader population must be aware of these social stressors. Raising awareness could lead to more people trying to make an conscious effort to aid those who are distressed through public policy.

  6. In my life as a student I face stress frequently. I stress over exams, assignments, choosing a career, and my future. No matter what your circumstances are, If you are alive, you probably have something to stress about. There is a level of stress that optimizes performance. However, when stress goes beyond this point it can begin to take a toll on somebody mentally and physiologically. Managing stress may look different for each person but it is important that somebody is able to manage their levels of stress to avoid the negative effects of excess cortisol.

  7. Many families that are impoverished have to give up their values to compensate for the resources they lack. For example, many young men choose to sell drugs as a quick way to get money for their families.

    The stress that comes along with selling illegal drugs and the internal battle of choosing what is right and what may be necessary is a common stressor. Stressors are going to be more prominent in low SES communities. People in those communities have a lot more emotional and resources related disparities they must deal with on a daily basis. These families in low SES communities are also unable to get help because they do not have the resources available to them improve. So as time goes on, things don’t necessarily get better. As the government structure continues to reduce aid and resources for low SES communities, the same stressors that plague families will continue to be reinforced in communities. More young men from low SES communities will continue to fill jail cells as they continue to struggle for the survival of their family.

  8. I think describing individuals who live in poorer neighborhoods or who are affected by any aspect of racism as “stressed” almost doesn’t justify their situation. College students are stressed almost all the time. Any one will tell you this, and it’s true. But this stress is different than that of people who are affected by stressors like the one’s discussed in the video. Everyone needs to have ways to manage their stress. We must minimize the stressors affecting us to lead the best and healthiest lives that we can. This is easier said than done, and is less challenging for college students then those with extreme chronic stressors. I don’t have one answer that can best reduce these large chronic stressors, but it might have to start at a higher level than with families. Community gardens and the implementation of more fresh produce stores in disadvantaged neighborhoods is one way to connect people to better and healthier food options. Having a choice between these options and daily fast food can have a large, positive, effect on a community, as long as everyone can access it.

  9. I agree, those are big causes of stress for many people. One of the other greatest sources of stress can also be having an illness or disease that is very expensive to treat. So, financial stress, as you said, can be a very large and serious source of stress especially in medical situations where treatment is needed. This is a good example of how heavy of an effect this stress can have on a person based on their socioeconomic status. If someone is loaded with money, then yes, the treatment will be expensive but hardly anything that will cause them too stress way too much about it. Unlike if someone’s saving will be completely destroyed by their medical bill for their treatment, then they will probably be a bit more stressed than the other guy. This exemplifies how the wealth-health gradient exists since those with more wealth typically have more resources to deal with the stresses in their life. As we learned in class, everyone has stress but the difference maker is the ability to deal with stress that people are experiencing. I think a big way to help lower the stress on people of lower SES would be to go to the root of the problem: economic policy and therein health policy. Things like social security and Medicaid could be very beneficial ways to help lower the financial stress on people with lower a SES and provide some resources to deal with the heavy stress.

  10. Hi, I have a few things that I wanted to say. First off, at the end of your post, you say “These are just some stressors that occur in poorer class citizens lives.” I don’t like how you used the term “poorer class” I think it would be better if you were to say socio-economic status since that is what you are trying to say. Also, I don’t think credit card debt is exclusive to people of low socio-economic status. Most people with credit card debt are people of the middle class who, unlike the lower class, are eligible for loans to go to school and purchase homes. This is because they are not affluent enough to pay for those things out of pocket and make too much to have access to government assistance. I could continue to go on but about this but I will not. I would say that I agree with your statement about racism causing chronic stress. However, I would have included more marginalized groups.

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