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Gingersnap
11-15-2010, 03:11 PM
Bonding Over Problems Can Make Women Anxious
LiveScience.com

Stephanie Pappas
LiveScience Senior Writer

livescience.com Sat Nov 13, 8:57 pm ET

It's always nice to have a friend's shoulder to lean on when life gets tough. But a study has found that too much commiserating can be stressful.

Female friends who dwell on each other's problems show a spike in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in activity of the sympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for the fight-or-flight response, the study found.

Talking over problems without dwelling on them resulted in no such spike, suggesting that compassionate conversation is helpful - when done right.

"Too much of a good thing is a bad thing," study researcher Jennifer Byrd-Craven, an Oklahoma State University psychologist, told LiveScience. "Really focusing on negative feelings is probably bad overall for your physical health as well as your psychological health."

Studies on chronic stress have linked worry to high blood pressure, lowered immune response, and increased abdominal fat, which in turn is associated with heart disease and stroke.

Byrd-Craven reported the results online Oct. 27 in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Stressful conversations

Earlier studies had shown that excessively rehashing problems with friends - a phenomenon called "co-ruminating" - seemed to make people more anxious even as it brought the friends closer together. To investigate this paradox, Byrd-Craven recruited 44 pairs of college-age female friends. (Women, accordant with stereotype, are more likely to co-ruminate than men, Byrd-Craven said.)

The women completed questionnaires designed to reveal their temperaments and problem-solving styles. Then the friend pairs were asked either to sit and discuss problems or to work together to plan a community recreation center. The center-planning task was a control so the researchers could compare problem-talking with a more neutral interaction.

Before and after the tasks, the women gave saliva samples to measure levels of cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase, a compound that signals the activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

The women who planned the community center showed no stress response, and neither did women whose natural problem-discussing style focused on solutions. But friend pairs who ruminated on their problems, discussing them without any resolution, showed an increase in both cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase.

Friends forever or toxic friendship?

The study looked only at the short term, so researchers don't know how co-ruminating affects health over the long term. But preliminary evidence suggests the answer won't be a positive one.

I've seen this happen. Yakking without problem-solving can be almost as stressful as reliving the situation.

Livescience via Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20101114/sc_livescience/bondingoverproblemscanmakewomenanxious)

Articulate_Ape
11-15-2010, 04:43 PM
I've seen this happen. Yakking without problem-solving can be almost as stressful as reliving the situation.

Livescience via Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20101114/sc_livescience/bondingoverproblemscanmakewomenanxious)



So, the less women talk the better off everyone is. They needed a study to reach that conclusion? :rolleyes:

bijou
11-15-2010, 04:47 PM
I think that there arre probably quite a lot of people who just enjoy wallowing in their problems and don't actually want a resolution. There's a pay off to the misery.

Gingersnap
11-15-2010, 05:03 PM
So, the less women talk the better off everyone is. They needed a study to reach that conclusion? :rolleyes:

I think the take home message is that discussing a stressful situation without also discussing possible solutions just makes things worse.

Bubba Dawg
11-15-2010, 05:57 PM
I think the take home message is that discussing a stressful situation without also discussing possible solutions just makes things worse.

I'm big on making things better by making them worse. Push somebody over the edge of a cliff and they either learn to fly, swim or bounce.

Either way, the problem is resolved. :)

I'm helpful to a fault.

megimoo
11-15-2010, 06:24 PM
I'm big on making things better by making them worse. Push somebody over the edge of a cliff and they either learn to fly, swim or bounce.

Either way, the problem is resolved. :)

I'm helpful to a fault.You should volunteer for duty on a suicide hot line ?

megimoo
11-15-2010, 06:54 PM
I think the take home message is that discussing a stressful situation without also discussing possible solutions just makes things worse.I've always felt that some woman like to wallow in someone else's troubles just for the vicarious pleasure it gave them.Sure, they would make all of the correct shows of sympathy and give advice but walk away relieved it isn't them.
Sort of like a woman listening the old soap box operas and bursting into tears then answering the phone with no memory of the cause of the tears.Some woman are emotional sponges that thrive on other's troubles.

Articulate_Ape
11-15-2010, 07:03 PM
I think the take home message is that discussing a stressful situation without also discussing possible solutions just makes things worse.

Ah, sorry, my mistake. I saw it was by someone named Stephanie and stopped paying attention about a quarter of the way through. :p

Bubba Dawg
11-15-2010, 07:45 PM
You should volunteer for duty on a suicide hot line ?

Come on asshole. You really want to kill yourself? Go ahead and pull the trigger. I really want to hear the BANG!!!! Do it you useless waste of air.

Or are you going to fail at suicide just like you've failed at everything else in your pathetic excuse of a life.

If you were worth a shit you'd already be dead. Only a loser calls a suicide hotline anyway.

Now, call me crazy, but when I don't hear the BANG then we have a basis for successful therapy.:)

Making things better by making them worse. Damn I'm good. I'm gonna write a book. Maybe they will make me the Suicide Prevention Czar for Obamacare.

Calypso Jones
11-15-2010, 07:52 PM
I swear. These researchers are killing us. They're telling us stuff that we instinctively know. I stopped reading this bs years ago.

Hawkgirl
11-15-2010, 10:02 PM
I agree with the article. I recal spending countless hours with a friend of mine about her relationship problems. She didn't want a resolution...she just wanted to someone to talk to. It got to the point that ALL of our conversations were about her problems....I stopped wanting to talk to her, because what she really needed was a therapist.

Articulate_Ape
11-15-2010, 11:08 PM
I think Dante covered your experience somewhere in the body of his work, if I'm not mistaken.

Odysseus
11-15-2010, 11:30 PM
So, the less women talk the better off everyone is. They needed a study to reach that conclusion? :rolleyes:
No, but they needed a study to get women to reach that conclusion. :D

I think that there arre probably quite a lot of people who just enjoy wallowing in their problems and don't actually want a resolution. There's a pay off to the misery.
Yes, and it's called "ratings." Ever seen anything resolved on an episode of Oprah? It's grief porn.

Come on asshole. You really want to kill yourself? Go ahead and pull the trigger. I really want to hear the BANG!!!! Do it you useless waste of air.

Or are you going to fail at suicide just like you've failed at everything else in your pathetic excuse of a life.

If you were worth a shit you'd already be dead. Only a loser calls a suicide hotline anyway.

Now, call me crazy, but when I don't hear the BANG then we have a basis for successful therapy.:)

Making things better by making them worse. Damn I'm good. I'm gonna write a book. Maybe they will make me the Suicide Prevention Czar for Obamacare.

Meh. I heard better from my TAC Officers in OCS.

But I like the book idea. Sort of a "Final Exit" with cartoons and inspirational stories from people who overcame gun control laws and a lack of access to high places and still managed to off themselves. Some possible titles:

Don't Fear the Reaper
Life: The End
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Suicide
Invitation to the Afterlife
How to Go Gently Into That Good Night
What Are You Waiting For? Jump!
1001 Things to do With 72 Virgins (Muslims only)
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
Life's a Bitch, Then You Die. Why Wait?
Rosie O'Donnell Has Slept With More Women Than You Have, or Ever Will. How Does That Make You Feel?
The Ultimate Book of Hope and Change

ralph wiggum
11-16-2010, 09:54 AM
I think that there arre probably quite a lot of people who just enjoy wallowing in their problems and don't actually want a resolution. There's a pay off to the misery.

Bingo.

That also keeps therapists & marriage counselors in business.