Most of the research into stress suggests that it is not only psychologically damaging but it is also associated with a risk of developing illnesses, for example, coronary heart disease, depression and stomach ulcers.
One of the most important aspects of this research is that it can provide us with information on how to manage and reduce our own and others’ stress reactions.
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The increasing awareness of the problems caused by stress has resulted in hundreds of self-help books about coping with stress and it remains a popular topic in magazines. For example, the American Booksellers Association estimates that over 2000 new self-help stress management books are published each year.
The idea of self-help and gaining control is in contrast with the most controversial approach to stress management, which is drug therapy.
Valium was first prescribed in 1963 and although effective in reducing the symptoms of stress there were severe drawbacks. These included the danger of addiction and resulted in stress researchers focusing on methods of stress management that prevent stress symptoms in the first place.
Valium: Used to treat depression and stress relief.