Stress related sudden deaths

Ravimohan, 52; Ranjan Das 42 – two of the recent sudden unexpected death(s) that rocked the corporate world!
Handling insurance claims, it is now common to get cases of men (yes! Only men) who succumb to a heart attack between 28 and 35! And mind you these are proven after an autopsy shows a pale patch of recent infarction and most large branches of coronary artery with large atheromatous plaques.

Such instances of sudden death(s) bring forth the question – ‘you eat well; you exercise regularly BUT are you truly healthy?’

In 1970 the American sociologist Alvin Toffler predicted that the rate of change in modern civilization would accelerate to such a degree that enormous numbers of people would experience shattering stress and disorientation. Toffler described this condition as FUTURE SHOCK. With human biological evolution lagging behind developments in technology and lifestyle, physiological and psychological stress emerges as a result of the growing deficit between daily demands and coping resources.

This third dimension of STRESS is well recognized but not attended to. Why? It is macho to be a fitness freak and eat exotic healthy foods (you get mentioned in the media) but seek a counselor – not macho at all, gets negative publicity and hence an attempt to convince self “I am not stressed. I thrive on challenges”. Truly macho!

Every one talks of SLEEP for 6-7 hours! Easier said than done; try catching that 6 hour sound sleep – the only help stressed individual gets is a pill – making him worse. Sleep hygiene has to be customized to the individual, based on his stressors and resources. Try asking someone staying in a 1BHK rented apartment to have a good mattress, soft relaxing music and dim red light.

Time has come that corporate India appoints counselors, accessible to their top management through the digital media with no fear of negative publicity or time wastage. Stress can be anticipated and sessions organized.

Imagine country head of a MNC seeking a session with his counselor via voice (plus video) chat prior to a meeting with principals flying down for annual appraisal.

Truly Macho!

Dr C H Asrani

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