Sometimes, The Best Way To Deal With Stress Is Walk Away
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28 June 2010
In his parting comments, just after putting in his papers, Lokayukta justice N Santosh Hegde told the media that he had been under severe stress. Pressure at work had built up to such an extent that he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. As if it was not bad enough at work, he was also expected to be present at the other end of the phone–often attending to late-night calls that left his sleep disturbed.
The pressure of work, and the fact of having his hands tied on some important matters had made justice Hegde a restless man over the past few months. "Both credible informants and others with vested interests used to bother him with phone calls until late night. This resulted in his inability to sleep soundly. He would keep waking up in the middle of the night. He was also apprehensive, over the last few months," said a source. Hegde is under medication for high blood pressure.
"Hegde’s anxiety levels were quite high. What he was fighting was a form of corruption that has long been institutionalised. Corruption has long become an accepted norm in India; and there are those who think of it as the only way in which certain ends can be met. When something becomes culturally so acceptable, it is hard to make things change. That was the fight Hegde engaged in. The threats he faced were large ones. High levels of anxiety were inevitable," said Dr MJ Thomas, consultant psychiatrist, Sagar Hospital.
Dr Thomas added that there were many ways to deal with stress: "Relaxation exercises, yoga, meditation and even medication are used to deal with stress. It helps to have a support group. But the sort of stress that Hegde dealt with had little cure, and sometimes it’s just best to walk away from such situations.
"Disturbed sleep causes secondary mood disorders like anxiety, depression and agitation," said Dr Pramod MN, neurologist, BGS Global Hospital.
"Lack of sleep is a predisposing factor for hypertension and diabetes. It also affects concentration levels and productivity," he said. Sleep was extremely important in the management of stress, said the doctor.