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Stress: Portrait of a Killer // National Geographic

This is Not a meetup, but an FYI on a 2008 documentary by National Geographic to be enjoyed in your own home, on your own time. If you have Netflix streaming, it's rated TV-PG and bears a 3.8 star approval rating. 55 minute running time.

"The serially overworked already know that stress is a near-constant fixture in modern-day living. But to what degree is stress affecting our bodies -- and is there any way to healthfully combat it? With a focus on the work of Stanford University neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky, this National Geographic program looks at the latest science to see what researchers are learning about this insidiously silent killer."

From WebMD
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress -- a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. Consider the following:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

Join or login to comment.

  • malcolm

    Sorry that I am missing it. I do not have NetFlix Malcolm

    February 28, 2013

  • Arden R.

    Sorry--I cannot watch this
    valuable doc. on thurs.

    February 27, 2013

  • Mariam M.

    thanks a lot. I'll definitely watch this.

    February 25, 2013

  • Brenda B.

    Thanks for this.

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • Christy H.

    Agreed! This is a fun and insightful documentary.

    February 6, 2013

  • Arden R.


    January 19, 2013

  • Steve K.

    This is really a great piece. Even I, a biofeedback therapist, a supposed expert in stress management, learned a lot from it. Enjoy. Sapolski (sp?) is fun to watch in this episode.

    January 5, 2013

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