Secondhand Stress

This “Silent Killer” induces heart attacks, tortures asthmatics, passes on a legacy of ill health to children. It turns people into pariahs who infect the innocents all around them with medical syndromes the deadliness of which is just now being tallied.

I refer, not to smoking or secondhand smoke, but to stress. And particularly to secondhand stress.

While secondhand smoke is the state-of-the-bugaboo issue at the top of the medical establishment’s agenda, stress has become the unloved child. But smoking has long been established as a response to stress; shouldn’t Mensa-level medicos be targeting the disease and not just the symptoms?

Poor schizophrenics, who, as a group, smoke like chimneys. After all, hearing voices in your head must be very stressful. Yet if they seek help with their debilitating disease, experts in mental health feel they must deny their patients one drug they use to relieve their symptoms – nicotine.

It’s like when we promise to help Afghan farmers modernize and prosper, but first they must burn the opium fields their families have depended on for generations for their very living.

But thinking like this raises my stress level. I don’t want to torment my family by banging pots and making sarcastic remarks and complaining about the rotting lettuce in the crisper. And neither should you.

If you must stress – take it outside! And while you’re out there, you may choose to smoke.

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