Forbes Magazine and Stress Awareness in America

Forbes Magazine and Stress Awareness in America
Forbes Magazine – Stress

According to Dr. Robert Pearl, and his recent article in Forbes magazine, psychological stress – a very common problem in America – is often overlooked and represents an issue not properly managed by doctors and the health care system.

Moreover, associations of stress with common human diseases are poorly understood by many clinicians and, thus, too often, some of the patients’ stress-related conditions are misdiagnosed.

As per Dr. Pearl:

Doctors either don’t diagnosis or do so inaccurately not because they’ve failed to consider an obscure medical condition. In fact, it’s the opposite. They’ve overlooked a very common problem in America: stress.

Thus, the author concludes that all these reasons indicate that there is a serious need for “stress awareness” and proper education of doctors and patients about the prevalence of stress and its clinical consequences.

Some issues related to this problem as highlighted in the article:

“Americans are stressed”

Many Americans report high stress levels and “1 in 5 people quantify their stress level as extremely high”. The results of the Health Burden of Stress in America Survey (funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR & Harvard School of Public Health) show that 70% of individuals who experienced a great deal of stress in the past month say it affected their family life, health and social life.

Furthermore, and as we recently reported, 42% of US employees have purposely changed jobs due to stress, and according to the Stress in the Workplace 2013 Survey, by the American Psychological Association (APA),

more than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress,

with low salaries, lack of opportunity for advancement and heavy workloads topping the list of contributing factors.

“Stress is costly” and an issue rarely addressed or managed by doctors

The job-related stress is costing the American industry an estimated $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity and on-the-job accidents.

As per this article and according to an American Psychological Association report, “33% of patients have never discussed managing their stress with a health care professional”.

Nearly half of physicians admit to “rarely” or “never” bringing up the ‘stress issue’ with their patients.

Part of the problem, as discussed by Dr. Pearl, is that “there’s more money in treating the symptoms than there is in addressing their source: psychological stress” and “with the typical U.S. primary care physician seeing up to 30 patients a day, there’s little time to ask about complex psychological issues”.

Source: Forbes Magazine
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