Local 591 EAP / Member Assistance
Credit IAM EAP, LAP
Men and Women and the effects of Long-Term Stress
By Rick Nauert PhD in Women’sHealth.gov
Emerging research contradicts the belief that stress increases the risk of depression more in women than men. In a new study, investigators at the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health found that men are 50 percent more vulnerable to the effects of stress later in life than women. “The literature has historically argued that women are more depressed because they get more of the stress. None of that literature touches on role of gender as a vulnerability factor,” said psychiatrist Shervin Assari, MD, M.P.H. Assari’s research focuses on how gender and race impact issues of health. In this case, he and colleagues found no association with race and depression over time. One explanation for what happens with men and depression is that they are less likely to talk about the emotions and stressors they encounter, compared with women, he said. “In our society, as men, we learn to see this as a weakness, as suggested by gender role identity theorists,” Assari said. The societal expectation of men taking a dominant social position appears to have long-term health effects. “Masculinity is a barrier to seek care and talk about emotions. This at least in part explains why men less frequently seek help, either professional or inside of their social networks. Our research suggests this may come with a price for men.” In addition to how men and women cope with stress, other distinctions may be due to gender differences in resilience, risk perception, and general exposure, he said. “Exposure to stress may help women better mobilize their psychological resources, which protect them when needed,” he said. It’s also possible that men may underreport their stresses, and that those who do acknowledge them are the ones who are most affected by depression later, Assari said. “Men should improve the way they cope and the way they mobilize their resources when they face stressful events,” he said. “They should learn from women on how to talk about emotions and use resources. “Men exposed to a lot of stress should take it seriously. They should know being a man is not all about power. It also comes with vulnerabilities.
Do women react to stress differently than men? One recent survey found that women were more likely to experience physical symptoms of stress than men. But we don't have enough proof to say that this applies to all women. We do know that women often cope with stress in different ways than men.
Women “tend and befriend,” taking care of those closest to them, but also drawing support from friends and family. Men are more likely to have the “fight or flight” response. They cope by “escaping” into a relaxing activity or other distraction. Antidepressants or sleep aids. The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones. These hormones make blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels go up. Long-term stress can help cause a variety of health problems, including:
• Mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Abnormal heart beats
• Relationship difficulties
• Acne and other skin problems
How can I help handle my stress?
Everyone has to deal with stress. There are steps you can take to help you handle stress in a positive way and keep it from making you sick. Try these tips to keep stress in check:
• Become a problem solver. Make a list of the things that cause you stress, From your list, figure out which problems you can solve now and which are beyond your control for the moment.
• Be flexible. Sometimes, it's not worth the stress to argue. Give in once in a while or meet people halfway.
• Get organized. Think ahead about how you're going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out what's most important to do and do those things first.
• Set limits. When it comes to things like work and family, figure out what you can really do. Don't be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.
• Breath deeply. If you're feeling stressed, taking a few deep breaths makes you breathe slower and helps
your muscles relax.
• Massage tense muscles. Having someone massage the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back can help you feel less tense.
• Take time to do something you want to do. Often we don't take the time to do the things that we really want to do. Doing something you like to do can reduce your stress dramatically
• Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Being well-rested helps you think clearly and feel prepared to handle problems.
• Get moving. Getting physical activity cannot only help relax your tense muscles but improve your mood.
Research shows that physical activity can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
• Share your stress. Talking about your problems with people you trust will help you feel better. They might also help you see your problems in a new way and suggest solutions that you hadn't thought of.
Benefits and you
Death can cause financial tragedies as well as grief. Yet planning for the end isn't about being morbid. It's about making crucial financial preparations to lessen the impact when it happens.
This month our team would like to focus on an ongoing issue we have, Bereavement. With our aging workforce, we cannot stress the importance of completing the bereavement checklists, since or team is most likely not your beneficiary, for us to assist you is a very difficult task, these forms are located on local 591 website, Bereavement Preparation Checklist Final.pdf, planningyourowndeath1226.pdf, please complete these forms by either printing them out and putting in a secure place or rescan them and make a soft copy, please let your beneficiary know where these forms are. If you have the line TWU VOL on your pay stub, please call (888) 602-6628 and know what benefits you have and get your policy numbers and record these as well. It is important that someone lets the company know of the unfortunate event as soon as possible so that any benefits they might have can be processed, Please contact Survivor Support to report the death. Survivor Support can be reached through American Airlines Benefits Service Center 1-888-860-6178.
Any questions or assistance please contact your team as listed.
Local 591 EAP / Member Assistance Representatives
Ken Morse- (815) 483-8585 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Region National EAP and Benefits–Member Assistance Program Coordinator
Tony Lepore- (940) 536-8817- email@example.com
National Benefits and EAP-Member Assistance Coordinator
Danny Wilson- (631) 334-0933- firstname.lastname@example.org
Northeast Region Member Assistance Program EAP and Benefits Coordinator
Rawle Skeet- (954) 559-7505- email@example.com
Southeast Region Member Assistance Program EAP Coordinator
Sean Bruno- (310) firstname.lastname@example.org
West Region Member Assistance Program EAP and Benefits Contact
David San Miguel- (817) 875-5808- D.email@example.com
Southwest Region Member Assistance Program EAP Coordinator
For Assistance please call above.
EAP May 2018 News Letter Effects of Stress.pdf