Stress blog

When calamity strikes, how will you respond?

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. March 29, 2011

My heart aches when I read of devastating accidents and illnesses. My spirit fades when I read about abuse and betrayal, deceit and manipulation. Yet I'm constantly reminded just how incredibly resilient people can be.

I've learned from my experience as a cancer doctor and from listening to the stories of my patients that when faced with a calamity or setback it's often best to do nothing. The heat of battle, when you're stressed out and sleep-deprived, is not the time to make a prudent, rational decision.

In the light of day and perhaps with a hot cup of coffee, you can think things through and seek the input and guidance of others. The options become clearer, and you can make a more appropriate decision not only for yourself but also for those around you.

Of course, these devastating events are not "fair." But as some of you have articulated, it's not the event that does you in. It's how you respond to the event.

To all of you who have commented on this blog and shared a part of yourself with us, I extend a heartfelt and profound thank you.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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March 29, 2011