Understanding Stress Is the Key to Controlling It
Every day, more than 500,000 Canadians miss work on account of stress-related health problems. This absenteeism costs between $10 and $36 billion a year.
Research has also shown that chronic stress has negative effects on brain development in children and adolescents. In North America, 75 percent of doctor visits are for problems brought on by chronic stress—but physicians have very few tools they can offer patients to help them control this stress.
Given the magnitude of this problem, the real question we must ask ourselves is not why we have put up with the high costs of stress in Canada, but rather whether we can still afford to put up with them.
Dr. Sonia Lupien, Canada Research Chair in Human Stress, is studying the effects of stress and stress hormones on the brain, behaviour and mental health, from childhood to old age. Lupien and her research team are hoping to better understand the personal, family and social determinants of this high rate of stress in humans.
The results of their research will be reflected in intervention programs for children, teenagers and adults. These programs will then be scientifically validated to ensure they are reducing the production of stress hormones and the cognitive and mental disorders that go with this.