Don't Worry, Be Happy


| 1 Comment

happy.pngI don't know about you, but it seems like I'm constantly sick during the school year. Currently, I'm on the sixth week of a sinus infection and ear infection in both ears that's not cooperating with my antibiotics. During the last two and a half years of my college career, I've had mononucleosis ("mono"), influenza ("the flu"), "walking" pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections, and several cases of the common cold. This might seem normal to some of you, but definitely not for me. I didn't have a single "sick day" during middle or high school. So what changed over the years that makes me so susceptible to illness? I did some research to get to the bottom of this.

For one, I eat much healthier now and I take a multivitamin everyday, which are things I didn't necessarily do in high school. But I definitely feel more stress and pressure, especially now that I'm a junior. According to a <a href = "http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/58/5/404.full.pdf+html?sid=241e1bf6-3818-404c-8b58-68a979ad9069">study</a> conducted by Psychosomatic Medicine, psychosocial stress increases an individual's susceptibility to infectious illness. They came to this conclusion with an observational study of 107 adults, ranging in ages from 18-65. For twelve months before the study, life event stress was measured.

The results showed that cigarette smoking, sleep habits, or exercise made no difference in one's susceptibility to illness. Surprisingly, alcohol consumption was lower among those who experienced verified upper respiratory illnesses. Most significantly, the study presented that the risk of infectious illness was greater in those who experienced high life event stress both before and during the study. Interestingly, this was not true for those who had avoidant coping styles.

I wanted to make sure this study was done well and reliable, so I looked into the specifics. It involved 52 men and 55 women of a mainly middle-class residential area. This seems like a somewhat representative study, although it is still fairly small in size. Since the study was observational, the results could be a cause of chance and/or third-party variables. However, given the attention to detail in this study, I will believe that increased stress in my life will lead to increased susceptibility to illness.

Finals week is fast-approaching, and its bringing along a good amount of stress. How do you feel about the results of this study? Do you think you seem to get sick easier when you are feeling extra stressed?

1 Comment

It is very interesting that you mentioned the multivitamin because I had a similar experience. Last year, I had every sickness you can imagine and it just kept coming back and wouldnt go away. I found that this year was significantly different because of two things. I began taking a multivitamin as well as vitamin c. I have noticed that when others are sick this year I havent picked it up as much. I feel sometimes it takes little things like getting nutrients into your body that you are missing, in order to help your immune system. I feel as if I am running my own study and experiments about doing new things and helping my immune system!

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

ADHD (Anxiety and Depression are Hidden Dangers)
During the summer I visited a medical psychiatrist because I thought I was suffering from depression and anxiety. After several…
Increasing Obesity One Commercial at a Time
It is absolutely no secret that obesity is currently a major problem in our country, specifically among the younger demographic.…
Blacked Out
As college students, we hear it all the time; "Dude I was blacked out last night" or "I don't remember…

Old Contributions