Coping With Everyday Stress: A Psychiatrist's Perspective

Test your stress levels.

Everyone has stress. It is a normal part of life. In the short term, stress can be a valuable tool to help cope better with life, accomplish tasks, and even evade danger. Short-term stress is stress that lasts for a period of minutes to hours.

When short-term stress helps us achieve or accomplish something, we call it Eustress. Eustress is a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being.

In the long term, stress can be detrimental to your health. Long-term stress can manifest as Distress or Chronic Stress. Distress is usually characterised by extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain. Long-term chronic stress is characterised by a consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period.

Chronic stress can be debilitating at the least and fatal at the worse.

Knowing where one stands in their day-to-day stress level is key to remedying the situation and bringing back your life to a healthy equilibrium as much as stress is concerned.

Evaluate your stress levels here –

Below is a transcript of the discussion we had with Dr. Chitayi, A consulting Psychiatrist and the President of the Psychiatric Association of Kenya.

What better month to discuss men than November because this is men’s health month? I am Rama, a nutritionist, and a lifestyle consultant. I am privileged to host this show called the take charge talk series.

I have with me a panel of people who will today be discussing men’s health issues. I have with me dr Chitayi, and I would like for each and every one of them to introduce himself for this show.

Dr. Chitayi: Thank you, Rama, I am Dr Boniface Chitayi Rabula. I am a consultant psychiatrist; I am the current president psychiatrist Association of Kenya. Thank you for having me.

Musumba Bwire: Hello, I am Musumba Bwire; I have worked in Kenya’s creative and marketing industry for 20 years. In the esteemed panel, I will be the common man giving views on what affects stress. You know, as we live lives, we face a lot of pressure, the common man has a lot of issues, so this will be a good opportunity to talk about how stress affects us.

Flora Wambua: Hello, everyone. I am Flora Wambua, a biochemist by profession and also a brand manager at mega life sciences, brand manager for ginsomin, and I am proud to be part of this show.

Rama: Thank you all for being here today; personally, I have been married for about 25+ years, and believe me, I am still in awe of how men deal with their stresses in life, and this is one of the platforms that I am actually looking forward to understanding how to better utilize the tips and advice that we are going to get from this to make our lives and men’s lives around us better. So without much ado, I want to ask Flora to tell us why this platform is from Ginsomin.

Flora Wambua: Thank you, Rama, for the opportunity, so Ginsomin is a men’s health formula brand that has been trusted globally, present in over 35 countries, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, it has also been there for quite a long time. Ginsomin is present in many countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and others.

Ginsomin is also trusted by medical practitioners, including doctors and pharmacists, and by the many men who have experienced ginsomin itself. So in this month of November, we would like to bring this talk show about stress, especially in men, because it is interesting to know that in the recent past, especially during covid and past covid, stress levels have gone up very high.

Actually, over 25% rise in stress has been reported post covid. This, of course, is associated with; losses associated with post covid like financial losses and even loss of loved ones. It is interesting to know that out of the stressed people, 51%-60% report depression and anxiety, and up to 90% of patients that go to primary care physicians actually have an element of stress.

Therefore stress is quite common, and on that note, we would like to organize this show hoping that men especially, particularly in this month of November, finally get a show that finally targets just men because we are used to women’s shows and all that, so we hope that you are going to have an informative session about stress and you are going to learn more about how to take charge of your life.

Rama: Thank you very much, Dr without any delay, I want to first throw this question at you, What is stress, and can you also take us through what is good and bad stress? We have heard about bad and think bad is a word associated with stress.  But I am learning or beginning to learn that there is good in stress too.

Dr. Chitayi: Thank you, Rama; I’ll start by demystifying one myth out there that stress is not a mental disorder. but it’s simply a way our bodies respond to different stimuli in our environment.

So stuff like changes occurring make our bodies respond with what we call stress response, This stress response came from our past. You realize our ancestors lived in the jungle, the ancestors of the present humans lived in the jungle. In the jungle, there are many dangers. There were wars, conflicts between people, they were wild animals, especially which posed a lot of danger so those were the two main causes of stress and of course there were others like draught and so on.

So human beings had to have a way of responding quickly, so immediately you came across some danger, maybe a lion shows up; the first thing you do is your body quickly produces a hormone that will make your body produce enough sugar to give you that energy.  That’s one way that you respond so that you are just ready, your muscles are strong ,and you are able to fight or run, you know, whichever the case

Secondly, is to shut off what is not necessary so that you can conserve energy. You’ll shut off digestion, shut of reproduction any function of your body that is not needed at that time. Basically, that is the good side of stress, the history of stress is good.

And even up to now, we can still respond like that.

A lot of time when you are faced with maybe a dangerous situation, maybe an accident on the road where you need to act quickly, sometimes it is the stress response that helps you to act.

Now the problem is that in the modern days, the difference between then and now is that currently, people actually face chronic stress for time on end. A lot of times it is either out of situations that are out of control or they are unable to manage.

For example, taking care of a relative who has dementia can give someone that aspect of chronic stress, which can lead to damage. There is this hormone we are talking about that gets elevated over a long period of time and it can predispose you to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and so on. And, it can also predispose you to depression which now in itself is a disease

Rama: That’s my next question how does stress manifest?

Dr. Chitayi: The idea of good stress is new, stress itself has always been viewed negatively, and we will look at those negative effects of stress.

However, we also think that stress can have some positive implications. A student who is stressed on the morning of the exam and they are doing some reading at the end if that question comes he may remember.

So it is found that in certain cases your memory, and your capacity to grasp stuff over a short period of time increases, that’s an important aspect of stress.

In other situations stress may be caused by good news, for instance someone gets a promotion, they can be stressed. Someone gets onto a new project that they’ve been assigned they can be stressed. But it’s good stress because it comes with a promise of something good. And generally, there’s the ability when there is a realization that I am facing a problem that I can solve, then that stress can improve my performance.

Rama: interesting, so how does stress manifest itself in us?

Dr. Chitayi: So, stress will manifest itself with the changes that happen in our body, first, your heart may beat faster, you may sweat, your breathing may increase, and you may feel this sought of changes.

Rama: like the physical signs?

Dr. Chitayi: Yes those will be more like the physical level. Then psychologically, when you are stressed you can feel irritated, you can have muscular pain, you can have problems with sleep, and then when you have these things, you will also have some challenges with relationships so you will find.

Rama: The emotional…….

Dr. Chitayi: Yes, that aspect of it. And when you move on to the next level of behavior you will find that you have challenges in delivering on the expectations even if it’s at work or at home.

Rama: Coming to everyday stresses of life I would like to throw this question to Bwire, what are the everyday stresses for you Bwire as someone who is in a profession and has to live your daily life in a routine or a certain sequence?

Bwire: No, it is very interesting I have heard from doc there is good stress because, typically, as Kenyans, we are always avoiding stress. We usually say, “Mimi staki stress.”

So for the typical man, I don’t think we know when stress is good and when it’s bad. Usually, we face a lot of stress at work, we are required to deliver on your responsibilities and when you get home if we have a family you are required to deliver to the family and that has its own stresses. Financial stresses, you also have the responsibility in the African culture of the wider family so it’s not only your immediate family.

You have your uncles and your aunts relying on you and it brings a lot of stress. There is also this lifestyle comparison, you see your friends are maybe ahead of you and you feel that pressure,

Rama: Competitive……

Bwire: Yes, you feel competitive pressure, maybe he has a better car than you. So there is a lot of pressure we are like in a pressure pot being pushed so hard and so it’s very hard to recognize this positive pressure you are talking about.

How can I recognise the stress you have talked about the fight or flight when is stress positive, when it is pushing you? How can I recognize that and how can I recognize when it is holding me back.,and it has negative implications.

Dr. Chitayi: I think the golden rule here should be short-term stress is good long-term stress is bad.  The stress that I am experiencing over a short period of time is good but if I experience it for months on end….. Stress can also be good if I know what’s causing it.

Rama: Absolutely, I’m coming to the next question which is the health implications that can arise from chronic stress. You talked about short-term but now long-term. What are the health implications that we need to be aware of, that we really need to learn.

Dr chitayi: So the health implications of stress are many, so……you have one memory, if someone is stressed over a long period of time they may end up losing their memory and if you are elderly it can actually look like dementia.

Secondly, learning, because stress usually affects those parts of the brain that are responsible for learning if you are stressed you are likely not to be able to learn or take in new information, make decisions, plan, and do such kinds of things.

Rama: learning meaning concentration and…….

Dr. Chitayi: Including concentration, focus, those aspects of your functioning which are usually with leaning will be impaired. The immune system……… stress reduces the immune system because there is this hormone called cortisol a very important hormone, it is a stress hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to a compromise of your immune system.

Then we have lifestyle diseases that we know about, hypertension because most of the time that you are stressed your adrenaline levels rise, and that can compromise your blood pressure and make it rise. And then diabetes, chronic stress can lead to diabetes,those are more on the physical outcomes but together with memory chronic stress can also tip one into depression.

Rama: Absolutely, what about the energy levels and fatigue and headaches that probably play a role in the implications if I have a headache that would probably not go away would i consider that as a stress headache or what would that imply to

Dr. Chitayi: So… we said stress will manifest with a number of symptoms and one of the ways in which stress manifests is a headache but you look at…….. If you want to know that maybe it is being caused by something you look at when you have that headache. There are people who are well at home and when they come to work

Rama: Bwire I would like to ask you, he has talked about the health implications but as a person who is in this normal up and down of stress. How do you manage stress on your own, how do people generally manage stress?

Bwire: When I feel stressed it usually comes with a headache, and lethargy like you dont want to get out of bed. So at this time you maybe turn to alcohol, you maybe turn to painkillers to maybe deal with the headache, maybe even fast food, junk food something that gives you a quick pick me up because we are not very much aware of how to manage stress so we turn to easy solutions.

Rama: Flora I would like to throw this question at you, what do you think of painkillers? You come from a background where you would probably tell us what are the implications of using painkillers.

Flora: so as Bwire has said definitely the most obvious thing to do when someone has pain is to turn to a painkiller. Most people will take painkillers regardless, without understanding what is happening to them for example when they have a headache which might also be associated with stress.

So the problem with popping painkillers is painkillers come with a lot of side effects. Painkillers are categorized into many different types and all of them have side effects. Most of the side effects involve gastrointestinal problems, they can lead to issues like ulcers if abused. Some other painkillers are also associated with effects that are cardiac related so they might cause heart problems eventually so it is very important that before one indulges into painkilleres if it’s a chronic issue we should always seek medical advice and avoid taking painkillers randomly without any proper diagnosis.

Rama: I also want to throw some light on high-energy drinks, being a nutritionist i understand and believe that a lot of people just grab an energy drink for a pick me, and the amount of sugar and caffeine it contains can actually be damaging in the long run. Yes, it gives you the high and the good feeling of having so much energy but I think it takes you into a big deep and I’m sure you’ll agree with me on that. It isn’t wise for the body to go through that kind of spikes clearly.

Dr. Chitayi: No it’s not and you will always not be addressing the real issue.

Rama: You’ll be masking the whole issue of stress

Bwire: but you know like typically, you have the pressure that you are feeling at work, maybe you are feeling depressed but you have to go to the office. You can’t stay at home and say that you are feeling sad.

Rama: If someone has to do a pick me up or you know does it for a one-off. What is your take on that?

Dr. Chitayi: The idea of health is balanced so a lot of times things become problematic when they are overused.

Rama: exactly

Dr. Chitayi: So I wouldn’t fault anyone who does an energy drink like once in two weeks because they are feeling low on that day. But if you make it a habit, then it is a problem.

Rama: Yes, when it is a habit is when it is a problem. Yes, and in the same light, I  want to discuss a few foods because people do not understand that nutrition is actually from food. 70% to 80% of what we get is actually from food everything else is secondary.

So foods which are great sources of let’s say B vitamins which are known as stress vitamins or anti-stress vitamins you can simply obtain them by having rich foods which are sources of vitamins like this.

African food especially specializes in things like sweet potato and you know very many dishes can be made out of it for breakfast, for instance, I clearly see people missing out on breakfast which I think is a sinful affair for the body.

So that in itself I think is half a stress reliever when you have good food feel up your systems on breakfast and address your energies first thing in the morning. A lot of them have this habit of fasting and missing breakfast that actually helps them moderate I believe it also stresses your body.

Bwire: But Rama, you know when you are stressed and depressed, even the appetite goes away.

Rama: I know, its a cycle how do you have to eat at one point or the other because it’s going to take a turn again and again.

Dr. Chitayi: but I think the golden rule is identifying what’s causing it especially if it’s chronic if it’s short term you will know the cause maybe it was the traffic, it was the …….. There is something in government called the appraisal

Very stressful when you are accounting for your timesheets, these things are very stressful. But it can also be because of lack of sleep, so if it’s lack of sleep compensate for that sleep debt if your work schedule is such that you wake up early and have a few sleeping hours, try to sleep longer over the weekend when you have time

Rama: valuable advice, a lot of people take sleep for granted, I mean it is comforting but also very therapeutic. We forget that is medicine in itself

Bwire: because you know we consider ourselves a hustler nation so there’s no time to sleep. You are doing your side hustle……….

Rama: Your view on adaptogens, i know that this is a new word for many of us. Adaptogens are known to let the body adapt to stress in a better manner but I would like your view on what you think of adaptogens to manage stress.

Dr. Chitayi: These are new ideas that are coming into the knowledge of human beings. Human beings are ever-changing so you know our ancestors are ………. And by the way before fire, our ancestors used to eat their food raw, which was terrible because their bodies used to spend a lot of time digesting and that is why some of these animals even herbivores have very long guts.

So you can already imagine a better human being will have a very short gut because we will be more efficient at breaking down these foods. So one thousand years from now the future guys will have a very short digestive system, maybe they’ll be no digestive system.  They’ll just be injecting what they need. I believe the system in the future will be about human beings spending less time eating because eating itself may have some social advantages but from the standpoint of the organism. It could also be a  waste of time.

This is very futuristic, and I’m not saying that people stop eating tomorrow. eating itself is guesswork. I am not sure that if I eat a certain amount of food I have the calories I need in a certain quantity. So I believe that future human being will want to be more exact about what they are taking into their bodies.

Especially now that we are also concerned about nutrition, we overestimate what the body needs, the body asks and we just keep eating and eating so definitely if something works then it can be used as long as it does not have side effects and it has established in which people are advised to do their stress management including things being grounded, focus on your environment.

Rama: Mindful

Dr. Chitayi: let me talk about focus it is part of mindfulness. If you are participating in an activity, offer it your full attention. It actually reduces stress, it is a secret anyone can use anywhere. Multitasking is the worst thing and let’s encourage our children because these are parts of habits that can be formed. Like when they are eating switch off the T.V. also get off the phone because then you will have time to chew the food properly and appreciate it

Rama: the aroma and everything that comes with food.

Dr. Chitayi: You could easily miss it by mixing it with some things. I mean this is not the time to ask people about their grades in school

Dr. Chitayi: apart from these known ways that are used to help manage stress there are products that are developed in a healthy way to increase concentration and energy then I would say that such are useful and very futuristic.

Rama: fantastic, I would like to take the view of Flora here to extrapolate on adaptogens, especially of ginseng and nature like that.

Flora: Ok if I can just add on what the doctor has said, adaptogens are substances that help the body cope with stressful situations. We have heard the doctor talk of cortisol being the stress hormone, so sometimes when the stress hormones are very high leads the body into a stress crisis adaptogens help the body lower the stress hormones known as cortisol and at the same time improve the feel good hormones known as the endorphins. So when we have a good balance of endorphins and cortisol then that’s a happy man.

So ginseng is one such adaptogen, and there are different types of ginseng. There is American ginseng, and one type of ginseng is Korean panax ginseng. The korean panax ginseng is one of the extensively studied ginseng or adaptogen and it helps the body adapt with stressful conditions.

Ginsomin is one such brand, the organizer of this show,  that has ginseng, and apart from ginseng, it has multivitamins. As the doctor earlier said when stress levels are high and immunity goes down the body can have troubles.

So apart from ginseng, we have combined it with 19 other vitamins that might be a bit difficult to get from food. It is possible to get them from food but how much you get from food, so we give you a wholistic product that contains 19 vitamins and minerals plus ginseng to ensure that men take charge of their life.

Rama: and this is specially designed for men?

Flora: This is a health wellness formula for men, so it is specifically designed for the needs of a modern-day man.

Bwire: I think I have learned that to managing stress diet is an important part of it. For the common man, I don’t think we understand that what we put into our bodies also affects our stress levels. So at what point do you bring in supplementation?

Maybe you have improved your diet; at what point should I consider taking supplements?

Flora: Actually, you should consider taking a wealth wellness formula like ginsomin as part of your diet. For example, in the morning, with breakfast, it will also build a good habit to have a nice supplement that gives you energy during the day.

Rama: Actually, that is a good idea, combining it with your breakfast ensures that you have breakfast, you are not losing on it and then you are adding whatever is necessary for your body.

Bwire: I’m also being encouraged to always take multivitamins, so how does that assist me in avoiding stress or managing stress?

Flora: As I said, a good multi-vitamin like ginsomin has ginseng that in itself will help you lower the cortisol levels while boosting your endorphins which are the feel-good hormones. So the feel-good hormones will alert you to fight issues like fatigue, so your performance and everything will improve.

Dr. Chitayi: yeah, and if I was to add from a theoretical perspective, short-term stress is ok, we can cope with it; we have always coped with it for thousands of years, but chronic stress is the culprit because then you need something that can switch off the stress response

Rama: So that’s an aid, a very good aid. aaa……This brings me to my next question, doctor, yes, we know the manifestations ;we have seen the implications, and we have seen how we  can actually take care of all these. But then when we talk of chronic stress or stress that is not under my control anymore. So when do I seek help?

Dr. Chitayi: So that’s a very good question, and sometimes it’s not very definite; even people with established mental disorders sometimes don’t realize that they have any disorder or any treatable illness. So it is important to be open to seeing men’s health professionals even when we are feeling fairly well, but are struggling with one or two challenges. To be open and not wait until the ambulance comes for us.


Rama: Let me ask you if I have a persistent headache that does not go away with me taking one or two panadol for, say, a week or a period of time, then it’s time to seek expert advice.

Dr. Chitayi: I think anything that persists beyond two weeks. Lack of sleep is persisting and it’s now been two weeks; continuously feeling sad now withdrawing, now staying in bed the whole day. If you start experiencing this.

Rama: and for no reason, it’s nothing you can relate to, and you don’t know why you are feeling like this

Dr. Chitayi: and then in that mix, there are some suicidal thoughts, if you are going that direction, probably that’s the time to see a mental health professional. And whom should you see?

Rama: I also would want you to clarify and I am sure all of us will have this question to ask you. Psychologist, psychiatrist, and counselor.

Dr. Chitayi: A counselor can be a counseling psychologist, or it could be just someone who has been trained to do counseling on patients who, for example, are facing some medical issues. Like if you go to a hospital and I have just been diagnosed with cancer, a counselor will help you go through that process.

Counseling itself as a process is meant to deal with short-term acute problems, mostly stress related. I have lost a loved one, some money, and some business, I have failed my exams. I may need a counseling psychologist.  I may not need a psychiatrist unless it is a very serious issue. To just help me through that process of accepting, moving on, and coping.

So there is a level now counseling psychologists may offer me more complex therapies like behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy.

Depending on my condition, a counseling psychologist may offer me more. They could also look into what is causing the problem, and sometimes they can refer you to a psychiatrist. So there is always cross-referral between psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors depending on the problem.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in medical problems, and for them, they will do it as the doctor does it, do a history, examine you and try to investigate what could be causing it.

You may be feeling that way because your thyroxin levels are low. So if we discover that, we wouldn’t say you are stressed; we would say you have hyper-thyrodism. And there are many conditions, including SLE.

Rama: please define

Dr. Chitayi: it’s a very long name you don’t want to hear; it’s called systemic lupus erythematosus, a condition like which someone will also come with some depression. if investigated, you find that it’s not depression it’s that condition.

Sometimes you have to do a CT scan to establish whether growth and abscess might be causing any of those things. So that’s what a psychiatrist does.

They manage and plan the management, which always includes some drugs, psychotherapy, and some lifestyle change advice they give to the patients.

In a good system where professionals know their work, it should not matter whether I first see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. A good professional knows the limit of their skills.

A therapist on the other hand cuts across because a therapist could be a layman whose leaned some therapy they can offer. Like a layman can learn problem solving therapy that is not necesarily offered by a counselor or a psychologist.

A therapist could just be a layman who has gone through a two-week course. On the other hand, psychologists are trained in therapies so they are the standard therapists.

Rama: Bwire! What do you think, when I ask you would you go and see a counselor, or a therapist, or an expert when you have this issue when you think that you need help, from your perspective as a man, I would want to understand this better

Bwire: For a common Kenyan man, I think I would be very hesitant to seek for help. You know, we are always told to be a man and deal with it and seek ourselves out. So you feel very shy to talk to someone else about your problems, you just talk to your friends. Even the personal issues you don’t talk to anyone about, about business issues maybe you can talk to a friend. If you are church-going you can talk to a pastor.

So the services he is talking about, like counselors we really don’t know where to get them where to start………

Dr. Chitayi: There is some concept I don’t know whether you agree with, men find it difficult to speak out their problems to other men, but they speak to ladies.

Rama: I believe that men dont talk

Bwire: But you know as a man you are in competition with other men so why should you speak your problems to another man

Rama: I would love to throw this at you; why don’t men speak out. As a psychiatrist, you might have evaluated what causes that. Why can’t they vent out stresses? Because women talk, we can vent out, we can cry we can do all the drama and we are out of stress. So what is it with men?

Dr.Chitayi: so obviously,  it is rooted in adaptation; the way a mans brain responds to stress is different from the way a lady will respond.

Remember in the past when the raiders came? What did the men have to do? They had to organize some sought of an army to respond. So in fact it’s been found that when a man is stressed the part of the brain that is active is the part for planning, decision-making, and action, the neo-cortex.

While in ladies, the response is more towards the emotional part of their brain and the limbic system, and readily women will talk about it, and men will sit quietly and look for solutions.

Bwire: I can agree with you because when I am stressed the first thing I think about is, what can I do. How can I solve it? Where can I get money?

Dr. Chitayi: let us understand men now knowing that there are some advantages. We can encourage them but let us not hold a gun to their heads

Rama: Absolutely, this is a platform that brings out such; it is a platform for men to talk and not be inhibited by social taboos. And we appreciate your time doctor and Bwire and of course Flora for having this wonderful little talk. I believe we have learned so much on stress the good and bad the health implications and what to do in case of ABCD. I think this is structured so well and they can identify whether they are in chronic or acute stress and what to do and how to do so thank you very much.

I would now want to rap this up with a rapid-fire we can culminate everything and throw some questions at these two people (doctor and Bwire) in order to understand. How we can put all this into one package? Are you ready?

Dr. Chitayi: Yes I am.

Rama: this is all in managing stress. So, Sugary food as a pick me up, what is your take on that

Bwire: Yeah I usually take a soda when I’m stressed so I’ll agree with that.

Rama: Dr. your view on that

Dr.Chitayi Yes it could be hypoglycemia so it’s a good trial.

Rama: taking painkillers can relieve aches and pains in the short term, good or bad?

Bwire: For me, it’s okay because what i’m trying to deal with is that short-term stress and carry on with what is expected of me so ill take a painkiller

Dr. Chitayi: it is only ok if it is a mild painkiller, and not for the long run.

Rama: Showing anger can reduce your stress levels, yes or no?

Bwire: yes I think so, because sometimes when you maybe argue with someone you feel like you have put some burden down, though it may come with some regret when you say things that you didn’t mean to say. But at that moment it feels okay

Dr. Chitayi: I think if you dissipate that anger on a harmless object then that is bad.

Rama: Cigarettes or alcohol as a solution?

Bwire: Yes because when you are facing pressure or stress it is very easy to turn to a crutch unless you are very disciplined. So I’ll say yes, most people do turn to cigarettes alcohol, and other crutches.

Dr. Chitayi:  So cigarettes have been shown to have many negative health implications so I will say no to cigarettes.

In regards to alcohol, a stressed person would need more of it, and the more of it they take it will have negative implications on their health. So alcohol is good for a person who is happy.

Rama: Who would you rather confide in? Friends, boss, spouse, peers, parents counselors

Bwire: I would say for most Kenyan men we turn to our friends, that is the closest person who knows about you.

Dr. Chitayi: Yeah people confide to people who are close to them, confiding is good whoever it is.

Bwire: But doctor when do i identify when i need proffesional help?

Dr. Chitayi: Exactly when the problem goes on for long, when there are issues of suicide for example, and you realize that it’s affecting your functioning then you need help.

Rama: Where does self-help stand for you is it through supplements or food?

Bwire: Actually today I have learned about managing stress through self-care, diet, and supplementation so that is something I am going to do.

Dr. Chitayi: For me, self-help is what works for you as a person. So you throw around many solutions and people pick what works for them because not everything works for everyone. But all this basket of solutions should be available to us including food supplementation, meditation and people know how to use them

Rama: Vitamins or adaptogens or both?

Bwire: I have learned that both will help me manage stressful situations because when your body is healthy, it’s more adapted to dealing with any pressures and stresses that come. So ill say both.

Dr. Chitayi: I agree with him.

Rama: Exercise or Meditation?

Bwire: Exercise, most Kenyan men do it for looking good,  for the exterior but I think exercise makes you more resilient to adapt better to the problems you face.

Dr. Chitayi: Many good things are better than one good thing so both of them.

Rama: But for meditation, I believe most of us have a problem with focus and concentration but with time it gets better.  Coffee is a solution to concentrate, good or bad?

Bwire: very good, I think we do take a lot of coffee to concentrate and to focus

Dr. Chitayi: No! We should just take coffee as a part of a beverage but not as a solution to concentrate. Coffee is not the place to go because it can be addictive

Rama: and also it can bring insomnia and sleep disturbances.

Dr. Chitayi: actually many people have sleep disturbances when you ask them if they ever take coffee in the evening the answer is yes.

Rama: Thank you that was a beautiful session of rapid-fire and I learned quite a lot about mens health and I hope the audience did too. Flora ill give the platform to you

Flora: Thank you, Rama, thank you Dr. Chitayi, thank you Bwire. It has been an interesting discussion. I have also learned a lot from the doctor. For instance, I didn’t know that there is a medical explanation as to why men don’t discuss their problems, I only thought that women like crying, at least I know.

To our audience, we have had an enlightening session and we hope you have learned about stress and we hope that you are going to start taking charge of your life.

So the thing about stress, that we didn’t mention is that stress is difficult to diagnose and most people who have stress don’t know they do.

As ginsomin we are going to give you a link in the description, this link will have a questionnaire with very simple questions. Answer them as faithfully as you can, no one is monitoring. It is a very simple piece of paper that will give you a scope and let you know where you are as a man.

If your score is high and points towards stress, like the doctor, said it is important to seek help. We hope you have also learned about adaptogens. Good adaptogens will have a combination of ginseng for example and a multivitamin to ensure that you get a boost in the morning. Therefore don’t forget to take a good supplement in the morning.

Rama: thank you, Flora, this was a wonderful session, and thank you ginsomin for putting this platform for men to discuss such issues. And to the audience, this is the first in the series the next topic will be on workplace and relationship stress take charge because change starts with you.

Acha Maoni

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