Maintaining Mental Well-Being in Stressful Jobs

HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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prepare? Did the counseling session with the couple in a troubled marriage make any difference? Then there is the friend who shows up for lengthy visits to his office on busy weekdays because, as the friend says, “You only work one day a week, Sunday mornings.” Diddle thinks man really believes it.


How does he know when the stress is getting to him? “Your spouse lets you know,” Diddle said. “You come home a bit withdrawn, feeling depressed.” Diddle says his wife, Annette, is completely trustworthy. He can unload his frustrations to her, knowing nothing he says will be repeated to anyone. “There are no secrets between us,” he said. This opportunity to be forthright and honest out loud to someone else carries him through, Diddle said. He also relies on the same source of strength Brabon described: prayer.

David Brabon is a plastic surgeon. In his practice at Rockcastle Hospital and Respiratory Center in Mount Vernon, Ky. – the largest respiratory care center in the United States – he removes skin cancers from faces and hands and rebuilds shattered noses, among other tasks. He has learned to not only encourage others but to maintain his own mental well-being.


A self-described man of faith, Brabon says he often lies in bed at night thinking of the patients he has operated on that day. He has two choices, he says: “You can either worry or you can pray.” He chooses the latter. He prays for guidance for himself. He prays for his patients; he also prays with them if they want him to. Brabon said research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates if a medical provider does not offer spiritual help to a patient, it is almost negligence. He does not press the issue if patients don’t want him to pray.


Brabon recalls finding out firsthand how stressful medical work can be. He remembers when he was a junior resident, just graduated from the University of Louisville’s medical school, breaking down while talking with his superior, the assistant director of emergency medicine at Detroit General Hospital. The patient load was just tremendous, he says. Eleven victims with gunshot wounds had come in all at one time that day.



MAINTAINING MENTAL WELL-BEING IN STRESSFUL JOBS

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by martha evans sparks

“I have all these patients,” he wailed to the assistant director, “and they expect us to know everything about everyone. It is just too much.” The director, Brabon says, was gentle and kind. “The whole staff just encouraged me after that.”


Another group of professionals who not only see (and listen to) others’ mental problems and may experience stress in their own work is pastors. Denominational differences in theology do not matter; all pastors face similar onslaughts on their own mental health. Just ask Rev. Daryl Diddle, senior pastor of the Wilmore Free Methodist Church, a thriving congregation where about 600 persons attend worship services most Sundays.


“There is a vast difference in working with volunteers and with paid employees,” said Diddle. While most churches have a small paid staff, the majority of the work is done by unpaid volunteers. “Are you going to criticize their work or tell these people to stop whatever they are doing that is counterproductive and driving you crazy? They can go away any time they want to,” Diddle said with a smile.


The deepest stress he experiences, Diddle says, is never knowing whether he is accomplishing anything. Is anyone listening to the sermons he works so hard to