The capitalisation of the title of this post is supposed to be facetious, along the lines of Jonesy in Dad’s Army exclaiming, “Don’t panic…Don’t panic!” as he hops up and down, in obvious panic.
However, stress is not often humorous, and a lot of people suffer from it at some stage. Stress can take different forms. There’s possibly stress factors involved in Mike Yardy’s recent episodes. I’m not qualified to say either way, although I’d say that stress, depression and anxiety can all sometimes be connnected.
This post results from someone I know virtually, Hazel Edwards, saying about Yardy on Facebook, “I admire his courage for giving the reason” – which I agree with.
A few years ago I suffered from a period of stress that lasted for a few months. We can all be under stress, at some stage or another, and we can all react to it in different ways. Some people thrive on it, and some people don’t. My own experience can’t be too uncommon. The thing about stress is that sometimes you can start to spiral inwards mentally, and when that happens, logic can go out of the window.
I had a bulk of work to do at the time, but that’s no excuse/reason. At some other times in my working career I also had a bulk of work to do, and that was no problem. In fact, often it was invigorating. Our kids took a lot of effort at the time, but that’s no excuse/reason. I can’t blame it on my idiot boss of that time, though he certainly didn’t help. For unknown reasons, things just gradually became too much.
And, that’s the thing. This sort of situation can happen to almost anyone at some time, for reasons I don’t fully understand.
So, I gradually realised that I wasn’t thinking straight. I wasn’t sleeping. I was reading, re-reading, and poring over certain emails…many times. I wasn’t functioning properly, and was anxious about everything. I was really, really tired all the time. Going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 8am and thinking that I’d not had any sleep at all. I’d given up drinking alcohol. And so on. I don’t really want to go into more detail.
So, I went to the doctor and he suggested that I attended some stress classes. Which I went to. They were held in a place down on Leith Walk.
The classes were fantastic, and I learnt so much from them. The first thing they help you understand is what is stress. You all talk about it, as a group, and try to work it out, with the help of the stress counselling person who facillitates.
“What, do you think, may cause stress?” She says.
Everyone’s hands shoot up. She chooses one.
“Kids!” Someone says.
Everyone nods in agreement.
“Yes, perhaps. And what else?”
“Work!” someone shouts out, and everyone nods in agreement.
“Yes, perhaps. And what else?” And so on.
Until you’re all talked out. Kids, work, whatever. Everyone gets a chance to say what’s worrying them. It’s a lovely, group thing. Some people were stressed out by having too much to do at work, or targets they couldn’t possibly reach. One chap was feeling stressed because he’d always been very busy until he retired, and found that he was still rushing everywhere, but to no real purpose because he no longer needed to rush. He couldn’t adapt to having time on his hands. In another case, a single mother was having problems with her teenage daughter who had got into trouble with the police.
We learnt about stress, what can cause it (almost anything, really), and also some techniques for dealing with it and for trying to prevent it. I found the whole episode illuminating. We were given a paper bag for breathing into, in the case of panic attacks. I didn’t need this, but one person in the group did, because she was terrified of supermarket checkouts.
Gradually, the stress lifted. Going to the sessions each week for a month really helped.
Since then, everything has been fine, and when I read about cases such as Yardy’s, I think I can do so with a little more understanding.