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Tue Jun 26, 2012, 07:37 AM

Manic Nation: Why Americans Are Anxious, Stressed, Depressed and Fat (And What We Can Do About It)


Pacific Standard / By Mary Fischer

Manic Nation: Why Americans Are Anxious, Stressed, Depressed and Fat (And What We Can Do About It)
How modern American culture has outrun the biology of our brains.

June 25, 2012 |


Dr. Peter Whybrow is lunching at a sushi bar near his office at the University of California, Los Angeles, but his attention is on the other diners. Even while talking to their tablemates, they are constantly distracted. They text, and repeatedly glance up at the wall-mounted TV screens. Common habits, sure. But to Whybrow, director of UCLA’s Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, those jittery behaviors are prime examples of how modern American culture has outrun the biology of our brains.

A British-born endocrinologist and psychiatrist, Whybrow has been fascinated with applying behavioral neuroscience to social issues since he took over the institute in 1998. At the time, with the dot-com bubble swelling and the Internet expanding, he saw a dangerously rising tide of growing psychosocial stress and shrinking physiological balance.

“Many of the usual constraints that prevented people from doing things 24 hours a day—like distance and darkness—were falling away,” says Whybrow. Our fast new lives reminded him of the symptoms of clinical mania: excitement over acquiring new things, high productivity, fast speech—followed by sleep loss, irritability, and depression.

Whybrow believes the physiological consequences of this modern mania are dramatic, contributing to epidemic rates of obesity, anxiety, and depression. In his forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Intuitive Mind: Common Sense for the Common Good, Whybrow explores how to repair the damage. “Why is it that we’ve been railroaded down this path of continuous stimulation and can’t seem to control ourselves?” he wonders. “Why can’t we just stop?” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/health/156008/manic_nation%3A_why_americans_are_anxious%2C_stressed%2C_depressed_and_fat_%28and_what_we_can_do_about_it%29/



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Reply Manic Nation: Why Americans Are Anxious, Stressed, Depressed and Fat (And What We Can Do About It) (Original post)
marmar Jun 2012 OP
hlthe2b Jun 2012 #1
malthaussen Jun 2012 #2
Blue_Tires Jun 2012 #3
Manifestor_of_Light Jun 2012 #4
Odin2005 Jun 2012 #5

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 07:41 AM

1. Bookmarked for later reading.. I hope he offers some solutions...

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 11:20 AM

2. Yeah, basically his solution is to buy his book.

I'm cynical, I know. The reporter asks the good doctor how he copes, and concludes with a scene in Mr Whybrow's office, where there are no interruptions for the hour-long interview. The "solution" is to "make a choice" to not "allow" distractions to constantly intrude and continually whipsaw the reward/depression cycle. In other words, the sort of "solution" that applies mostly to people who don't have to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from.

I said I was cynical.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 01:07 PM

3. I know he's got a book to hawk

but I'm damn near the end of my rope and could use some good ideas...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 07:19 PM

4. Burnout is commonly known as adrenal fatigue.

Too much stress burns out the adrenals. That means a person has an immune system that is extremely weak, and cannot protect against illness and stress.

http://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenalexhaustion.asp


http://www.naturalnews.com/024985_cortisol_blood_fatigue.html

I was burned out back in the 1980s. For decades I lived on caffeine, sugar and panic. As in "If I don't get this transcript finished on time the world is coming to an end. Or if I flunk this class, the world is coming to an end."

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:45 AM

5. He is ignoring the biggest reason why people are so stressed.

Because we are being economically SCREWED by the 1%.

If you are up all night worried because you might be evicted from your house it ain't your cellphone that's causing your anxiety

But of course pointing that out is taboo.

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