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Robbing You of Health

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:15 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
RobbersCrime – I think it’s safe to say that we’re obsessed with it. We arm ourselves with house alarms, car alarms and even fridge alarms (for the midnight cookie thief). Our keychain is so laden down with various unlocking tools that it takes fifteen minutes to find the key to the front door. When a stranger approaches, we tense. When there’s a noise outside, we become alert, straining to identify the source. We are certain that, in some point in our future, a maniac will mug, assault or even kill us. In some instances, the concern may be legitimate. However, there is a portion of it that likely isn’t, and too much of it can be harmful.

Scientists in the United Kingdom recently surveyed 6,777 men and women between the ages of 50 and 75. The participants were asked to rate their level of concern on possible crimes, including home and auto theft, mugging and rape.  Those who were the most worried were also the unhealthiest. They were twice as likely to suffer from depression and more than twice as likely to have a separate mental disorder. Moreover, their physical wellbeing was weak. For many, their bodies were functioning at a level equal to an individual nine years older than their actual age. Scientists linked these frailties to the avoidance aspect of fear.  When someone is afraid, it is easiest to stay away than confront. However, when the source of fear is crime, individuals tend to avoid exercising, social interaction and social activities, all of which are crucial to health.

To combat the ailing bodies of worrywarts, we must help assuage the fear. This can be done by increasing anti-crime measures with neighborhood watches and increased law-enforcement presence. It can also be accomplished with accurate information. Many believe that crime rates are skyrocketing. While true in some areas, it is false in others. Having officials detail the actual local dangers can alleviate unnecessary worry and inspire individuals to calmly reenter the world, where they will find an opportunity to decrease fear and increase health.

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