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Adrenaline and Stress: The Exciting New Breakthrough That Helps You Overcome Stress Damage Paperback – July 1, 1995
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Test after medical test showed me to be quite healthy, with no discernable problems. When doctors suggested "stress," I dismissed it as a junk diagnosis, thinking "why don't you just say you don't know instead of blaming stress for everything." Turns out, though, that they were right.
Stress is much, much worse for us than previously imagined. It does not just affect us primarily mentally or with the occassional headache or indigestion...it can profoundly alter our body to the point of near disability. I know -- because it has happened to me.
This book came as a godsend in helping me understand what was happening to my body, and why. It was the book that opened my eyes to the connection between stress and the adrenal glands, and the profound affect that prolonged exposure to stress can have on our hormonal system. Many physicians poo-poo the idea that the adrenals can eventually become exhausted because they reason that adrenaline goes up (not down) when the body is under stress. Hart shows that while such reasoning is correct, it is only half correct. Eventually, the body can no longer sustain the continual demand for over-production of adrenaline and the body will crash. When that happens, the physical results are profoundly severe.
Although Hart spends less time in the book dealing with the most serious stage of stress exhaustion - adrenal depletion - he was the first author that alerted me to this very real condition, and hence helped me on my journey to finding out what was wrong and how to get much-needed help for recovery from a debilitating condition.
Most have been conditioned to believe that stress will only manifest itself as eventual coronary problems. While this is true for some people - the heart attack out of the blue - there are a host of other physical symptoms that while perhaps not life-threatening, can render a person's quality of life completely destroyed. There is a significant body of evidence, for example, to show that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are simply the body's response to prolonged, chronic, unresolved stress.
I believe that anyone who deals with stress - from mild to severe - will benefit from this book. Knowing the dangers and warning signals of too much stress are vitally important in today's ultra-demanding pace of life.
My only critique is that I wished he would have discussed the concept of adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion in more detail. However, that topic is adequately addressed in other books - particularly "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked" by Gerald Poesnecker.
The major negative is that the man is a fundementalist christian. At one point he even talks about indoctrinating your kids with 'christian values' Bible verses are scattered throughout the book. Presuppositions of Cartesian dualism (completely wrong by psychology and neurology) are scattered throughout the book. References to intelligent design are scattered throughout the book(completely wrong by genetics ,biology, geology, and cosmology), and the last chapter is entirely about christianity, which I promptly skipped. Meditation is mentioned constantly, which he never calls meditation.
The man is relatively knowledgeable in his one niche of study, but his disposition and world view demonstrate why it is important to accumulate knowledge from many fields and build a coherent, intellectually honest, and truthful meta-level world view across them all, because this guy's is way off.
If you want a good book on stress management, this one is ok, as long as you don't get too irritated at the preaching and falsities.'Why zebras dont get ulcers' is a much less preachy book on stress.
I would hesitate to have a few of my "Type H" friends read this book at certain times. Hostile or hyper people are sometimes hoping to keep their adrenaline pumped for reasons of performance, and they are many times not worried about future problems that may result from this. They sure would be the fist to benefit from this, and I hope many will take the subtle information to heart. It is worth the timeless details of sorting thru, as one can still see that adrenaline is killing us in many ways. It does have many functions, but not at the levels and seemingly addicted ways of being maintained.
Adrenaline junkies may actually find this book interesting. It won't keep you from loving your sport or adventure, but perhaps managing a few issues that friends or family have been hesitating to tell you!!
Yes, this is a Christian directed book, but it does not have to serve believers only. I would see very little that would upset a totally secular audience, and actually have been a little less interested in a few of Archibald's meditation ideas. Those do not appeal to me quite as much, as it really seems more important to get to the root of the problem. The Stressor does not always have to be avoided or thrown out, rather looked upon with a healthy perspective.
Yeah, now that is getting to the root of the issue.