The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Psychiatrist: Stress can affect health

By Jackie Bushnell/reporter

Stress is a state or moment in which perceived situational demands exceed one’s coping capabilities, a guest speaker told NE Campus students recently.

Dr. Heidi Hamann, psychiatry assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, talked about what causes stress, what stress is and how stress can affect one’s health.

“You may have a different stress reaction than the person next to you,” she said.

Exams, money, jobs, other people, society in general and daily hassles can cause stress. Too many classes, too much reading and being low on money are examples of stressful situations. Hamann said stress is an “alarm” that tells people to pay attention and do something.

“Stress can actually be adaptive: a signal that our goals are in jeopardy or that we are not achieving our goals as quickly as we might want,” she said.

Stress also can damage health. Stress can affect eating and sleeping habits and can lead to substance abuse and bad behavior, Hamann said.

Stress can also affect the cardiovascular system, which supplies oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.

Hamann has a doctorate in clinical health psychology and a master’s in human genetics/genetic counseling.

For more information on stress, Hamann suggests Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky.

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