KARACHI  -   Everyone feels stressed and worried at times. No one is immune to stress including person of any age, gender or social class. Death of spouse is one of the most stressful life events. One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Rational and limited use of smart phones and mobile devices is highly recommended for citizens to be prevented from stress. Stress causes many health disorders including acne, migraine, allergic reactions, angina pectoris, and nausea.

These views were expressed by Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Afridi, Dean at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, and Dean, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi at the 48th public awareness seminar on “Stress and Related Health Disorders” held at the seminar room of Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi (UoK) here on Wednesday. PCMD, University of Karachi and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) jointly organised the seminar.

He said that stress happens whenever you mind or your body reacts to some real or imagined situation or threat. People feel under pressure, worried, upset, sad, and angry or maybe a mixture of uncomfortable feelings, he said, adding that it’s usually because things in our life are difficult, or because we are not getting on well with other people.

He pointed out that there are many ordinary situations that can make us feel stressed for a longer time. Homework can pile up, or preparing for exams can seem like it’s taking forever. At school one may be teased or bullied, or have problems with teachers, he maintain and added that at home one may have arguments with parents, brothers or sisters, or close friends. At workplace one can have problem with boss or a colleague.

Stress can be even worse if someone is sexually abused or even seeing parents fighting. It can be particularly upsetting if family is breaking up, or someone close to us is ill, or dies, he said.

He pointed out that there are top 10 most stressful life events, which include death of a spouse or child, divorce, marital separation, imprisonment, death of a close family member, personal injury or illness, marriage, dismissal from work, marital reconciliation, and retirement.

Talking about the effects of stress, he said that stress can affect us mentally as well as physically. It’s harder to keep our mind on our work and harder to solve problems, he said, adding that it’s more difficult to cope with frustration and control our temper, we might get depressed.

Understanding and support from other people makes it much easier to cope with stress, he stated. Feeling alone makes it harder, he said.