Stress Is YOUR Silent Killer: The killer you can control

Dr. Patricia Farrell
6 min readNov 5, 2019
Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

Over 8 million people die each year because of mental health-related illnesses. It’s not a mental illness/disorder that kills them but the insidious stress that builds up as a result of what is happening in their bodies. The psychological aspects of the illness are what’s most apparent (and not everyone has a diagnosed illness), but the underlying damage silently destroying health may not be fully realized.

Stress appears to be one of the prime movers of diminished health. It is the thief in the night that robs our health without our realizing it. Undoubtedly, this silent killer isn’t seen because the visible signs are too quickly diagnosed as mental health issues. The answer is often a prescription for a medication.

But stress affects every system of our bodies, and death can be the result. Hypertension, aka high blood pressure, is a significant component of stress-related deaths. Treating anxiety or depression isn’t an adequate plan for promoting health.

Pharmaceuticals are only a part of what must be diagnosed and remediated. Treating stress-related illnesses in a piecemeal fashion, forgetting the psychological component, does little to serve the patient’s health.

Each year, The American Psychological Association produces a study on stress in America, and the results are startling this year. First, consider how stress affects us overall.

Where stress affects our bodies

A major concern for everyone is their heart health, and it is here where stress can be the most dangerous. It raises our blood pressure, which places an additional burden on the entire vascular system of our bodies.



Dr. Patricia Farrell

Dr. Farrell is a psychologist, consultant, author, interested in flash fiction writing (, and health.