Today we are pleased to welcome Drs. Balasa Prasad and Preetham Grandhi to our blog to discuss their new book, The Turning Point: Conquering Stress with Courage, Clarity, and Confidence. Both authors are Psychiatrists who work with patients to conquer their stress so that they can turn their lives around and thrive. Stress has been a principal nemesis of all of us and now stress levels seem to be higher than ever all over the world. A fragile worldwide economy, ongoing globalization and rapid technological advances have all played a part in increasing our stress levels. Let’s turn to Drs. Prasad and Grandhi now to hear their insights about conquering stress.
Mentors: Welcome Dr. Prasad and Dr. Grandhi. Can you begin by telling us how you define stress?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: Stress is the emotional discomfort we often feel when things don’t go as planned in our lives or a deep mental anguish triggered by adversity. Stress is the nemesis of three elements we all need – peace of mind, good health, and the spirit of freedom. Whether stress results from day-to day burdens, an addiction, a phobia, conflicts at work or with family, natural disasters, or the seeming impossibility of reaching a life goal, it stands in the way of living a pleasant, productive, secure and meaningful life.
Mentors: You’ve said that The Turning Point is not a book about managing stress – it is a book about eliminating stress from your life for good. Why do we have to conquer stress rather than mange it?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: If stress is left unchecked, it can incapacitate and prevent us from reaching our full potential by undermining our courage, clarity and confidence. Also physically, stress wreaks havoc on the body – people are more prone to developing ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia, diabetes to name a few.
Managing stress means you allow it to continue to exist and learn only to cope with it when it crops up. Managing uses up time and energy that might be better spent working to reach your goals. Conquering stress means freeing yourself from it forever. Because stress is generated inside us, if we want to conquer it, we have no choice but to defeat it on its own turf and terms.
Mentors: What is the Turning Point program and how does it help conquer stress?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: The Turning Point Program is designed to guide a stressed out individual step by step to identify the source and neutralize stress forever. Individuals usually look at stress from their own and the world’s perspective, and therefore are unable to grasp the dynamics of stress and to conquer it. This book also introduces a new, ground breaking concept called Naturization, which is the missing link in the fight against stress. Naturization provides a third perspective, nature’s perspective, a key and an invaluable tool to conquer stress.
Mentors: Is there a connection between stress and addiction?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: Stress and addiction is a match made in hell. At times, stress encourages us to numb ourselves with addictive behaviors. Other times, while seeking a momentary pleasure, thrill, or comfort, we fall into addictive habits, such as compulsive eating, smoking cigarettes or pot, drinking alcohol, snorting cocaine – behaviors that open the door to stress. Stress and addiction go hand in hand like equal partners in crime.
Mentors: How is stress different in children?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: Children are people too therefore they are prone to stress. Unlike adults, however, children do not have the tools or the knowledge to identify the sources of their stress or to express how stress is affecting them or even how to tackle the problem properly. Their abilities to cope with stress independently vary with their developmental ages. The loss of security is the number one source of childhood stress. Children often express their stress by either internalizing it in the form of withdrawal, sadness, and anxieties or externalize it in the form of acting out. It is important to note that children cannot conquer their stress until they have developed a more sophisticated mature way of thinking that occurs in late adolescence. So it is up to the parents to help protect them from stress, teach them the skills to conquer stress in an age appropriate manner and help diffuse it.
Mentors: Since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started, there is an alarming rise in PTSD. What can be done to help our military personnel overcome it?
Drs. Prasad & Grandhi: The statistics are disheartening, nearly 13-20% of returning soldiers experience a raging battle inside their mind leading to PTSD. Everyday 1 US soldier commits suicide.
It is important to understand what a soldier faces on the frontline – he imagines the battleground as a black hole – where life goes in and nothing comes out. There is a constant reminder of kill or be killed which evokes fear, anger, sadness, and disenchantment about the human race. He can’t trust anyone, except for his fellow soldiers. He must be vigilant every second which is mentally exhausting. Every kill will have a negative impact on the psyche and spirit of a soldier. A psychological rift develops between a soldier and the rest of the world and gets wider the longer a soldier spends on the battleground. Returning soldiers from active duty burdened by the trauma to body, mind and soul feel like misfits amidst a civilian world. Though he appears calm on the outside, inside he is a ticking time bomb.
Here’s the simple truth about PTSD, a soldier’s emotions are in turmoil and have overridden his intellect and instincts. Therefore, he is unable to distinguish between an implied threat and an imminent threat, which leads to PTSD. The emotional, mental anguish of being in this perpetual state drives them to violence, suicide, isolation, addictions, phobias. The only solution is to tame the emotions and allow the instincts to take charge; this will restore balance to the soldier’s mind. My Turning Point Program and Turning Point Treatment are designed to do this.
Mentors: Thank you for joining us today and sharing your wisdom. Now readers you have the opportunity to post your own questions to the Doctors. Simply use the “Leave a Reply” section below.