The uncertain jobs that bring stress ….

Stress by itself is common in Kashmir due to conditions prevailing from last 30 years, more and more people are getting diagnosed of stress related disorders and as a community we have not developed any robust mechanism to combat it.

There is no doubt that government has its own reasons of hiring highly qualified staff on contractual basis and due to rising unemployment many accept to work on contractual basis. When life has become so uncertain especially in Kashmir, along with flooding of life insurance advertisements in electronic and print media, contractual employees whether doctors, teachers, computer operators do get emotionally disturbed. This uncertainty which starts in mind of a physically and mentally healthy employee ultimately manifests in different forms like depression, anxiety disorders and symptoms of inferiority complex. It’s now known to all that our body  release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Our heart accelerates, our breath quickens and our mind races. It’s all harmless if the tension or fright is brief and once in a while, like a near miss while driving, but the emotional disturbances of anger and hatred are like accidents that don’t end, and hormones turn into toxins. The depressive effect of cortisol upon the immune system has been linked to serious diseases and disorders. According to a recent medical research, “Cortisol wears down the brain, leading to cell degeneration and memory loss. It also raises blood pressure and blood sugar, hardening the arteries, leading to heart disease. Sleeping problems are also common. Some dangers  of less sleep are listed below.

•Short sleep duration ( <5 or 5-6 hours ) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night.

•Young people ( 25-49 years of age ) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less.

Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks.

• Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!

•  Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL! -6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease.

• Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease.

Many develop symptoms of inferiority complex due to contractual nature of job . He constantly compares his life with life of a permanent employees. He sees that both have same qualification but one is working on contractual basis in some far flung area of Jammu Kashmir and other has a permanent job that too not away from his family. This resentment and anger make a impregnable cycle of anger and hopelessness. It’s quite common that this anger is then directed also against family, most often children become the weakest link and all anger is directed towards them. Being very young they do not retaliate but their anger often manifests towards cruelty against animals, bullying of juniors at school or sometimes taking refuge in drugs. This phenomenon is not limited to contractual employees of government only but also to educated youth who have PhD degree but work in private schools on a very low salary.

Since I or others cannot control decisions of our employer, we need to change our life style.

We all are caught in a mad race. We keep on postponing our happiness and satisfaction. First doctors of my age thought I will be happy when I pass 10th grade, then twelfth grade, then clearing entrance, then internship, then MBBS-MD, then job, then PSC confirmation, then marriage, then children, then new house, new cars – it’s a chain which never ends. Let’s live in present moment and enjoy it. Let us be kind to all. Our passion for our job whether doctors, teachers or clerks job should reflect in kindness and compassion and not bitterness towards others. I end with famous saying of Lao Tzu:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”