What is Stress?
Stress, as most of us use the word, might better be called “distress.” It is a state of tension between a person and his or her environment. It is an unpleasant feeling we experience when we are overwhelmed by outside pressures or events. Many authorities consider stress-related problems the most serious current challenge to our health.
What are the Consequences of Stress?
Among the more common ailments with a possible stress component are heart disease, headaches, hypertension, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety and depression. Stress can also affect job performance as well as relationships. Whether or not stress causes or contributes to these conditions, we know that living with health problems can add considerable stress to any of us.
What Causes Stress?
Things that cause stress are called “stressors.” Some common stressors are major life changes, job pressures, “relationship or family problems, and acute or chronic illness. How we perceive an event also plays an important role in causing stress. What is stressful for one person may actually be stimulating to another. Stress is considered to be one of the 10 leading work-related health problems.
What Do Participants Learn?
By the end of the program, participants will:
- Identify the stressors in their life
- Develop a range of positive coping skills, including relaxation techniques to reduce stress
- Understand how to use stress as a positive force
- What is the Format of the Program?
- The Stress Management groups meet for six consecutive, weekly, 90-minute sessions. Groups usually meet in the evening and have up to 20 participants. Each class focuses on teaching several specific strategies to help manage stress. Homework practice is assigned each week, and may take up to twenty minutes a day to complete. Relaxation CDs and educational videotapes assist in the learning process.
Do I Have to be Referred by a Doctor?
Doctors or other health care professionals refer about 50 percent of the participants in these classes, but many participants are self-referred following an initial interview with one of the Department’s clinical staff.
Where Do the Groups Meet?
The Stress Management sessions are held at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s Burlington site.
How Do I Get More Information, or Sign Up?
If you have a physician, counselor, or other health care professional at Lahey Hospital, you may wish to ask them for a referral. If you are seeing a clinician in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, ask them for more information. If you are not currently a Lahey patient, you can call and set up an appointment with one of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine’s clinicians for an initial interview and screening for the program. Appointments can be made by calling (781) 744-8013.
How Much Does it Cost?
Participants’ insurance often pays all or part of the fee (with the usual copayment).