Informative Speech: Example #4

author: Charla Kay Denmon

Stress, The Silent Killer


What is stress? Stress is a negative emotional state occurring in response to events that are perceived as taxing or exceeding a person\'s resources or ability to cope, says Cohen & Herbert. There is now evidence to show that those who have large amounts of stress in their lives are more susceptible to health problems and injuries.

A) 43% of all adults suffer adverse health affects due to stress. 75-90% of all visits to the primary care physician are for stress-related complaints or disorders. And 60-80% of industrial accidents are due to stress.

Stress has also been linked to all of the leading causes of death, including cancer, heart disease, accidents, lung ailments, cirrhosis, and suicide, according to the American Institute of Stress.

B) I am interested in this subject because I am always under a tremendous amount of stress. I am an athlete, and have been one for the majority of my life. Along with being a competitive athlete comes defeat, which in turn brings an extreme amount of stress to one not used to it. I absolutely hate to lose. It is the worst feeling in the world. When I lose, or feel like I have let some one down, I take it extremely hard. the stress I bring on myself is tremendous, and by realizing its affects I have tried to accept defeat a little more easily.

Therefore, in my pesentation, I am going to do my best to give you an understanding of stress.

I will do this by discussing these three points: how stress affects our work force; how stress effects our mental and physical health; and how stress affects our daily lives.


Point #1:
Let me begin by discussing how stress affects our work force. did you know that an estimated one million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress-related complaints? Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550 million workdays lost annually because of absenteeism.

Just recently, a large corporation conducted a three-year study that showed 60% of employee absences were due to psychological problems, such as stress.

According to the polls nearly half of all American workers suffer from symptoms of burnout, a disabling reaction to stress on the job.

From 1985 to 1990, the proportion of workers who reported, "feeling highly stressed" more than doubled.

Stress on the job is estimated to cost the U.S. Industry $300 billion dollars annually, due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, direct medical, legal and insurance fees, and the list goes on.

With nine out of ten job stress suits being sucessful, the average payout is more than four times that paid for regular injury claims.

Point #2:
Which brings me to the affects this disease has on our mental and physical health. Mentally, it can make a person crazy. For instance, it can make a person who is under too much stress do things that are uncharacteristic of them.

In the workplace, and in the home, violence is rampant. With almost two million reported instances of rape, homicide, and aggravated and sexual assault, stress seems to be bringing out the worst in us.

Stress is also linked to every psychological problem found. It is the core of mental illness.

Most of us will not encounter stress if we feel that we have adequate resources to deal with the situation. But, when we perceive our resources as being inadequate to deal with the situation, we see it as threatening, and that, in turn, causes us stress.

Stress, also known as "The Epidemic of the 80\'s," plays a huge role in not only our mental health, as stated above, but our physical health. Stress is a catalyst for hypertension, sudden death, depression, anxiety, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, substance abuse, arthritis, gastrointestinal, skin and many more infections and immune system disorders.

You can see very clearly that when under a mountain of stress our health, and clear thinking diminishes quickly.

Point #3:
Keeping these things in mind, I would like to continue by discussing how stress affects our daily lives. Anything can happen in someone\'s daily life.