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COMBAT STRESS  

BIOFEEDBACK ARTICLE FROM SPIRO DIAMANTIDIS - COMBAT STRESS
SPIRO DIAMANTIDIS M.D
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BY SPIRO DIAMANTIDIS M.D.

CEO, President of

PARADISE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

 

A lot is said lately about combat stress.

The international media show footage of American soldiers in their cutting edge equipment, bursting into tears right in the middle of the battlefield under the influence of excessive stress. Competent authorities inform us that these soldiers are supported psychologically. However, they also need biofeedback to control stress, and especially the stressful factor that relates to the reason they participate in war. Getting them desensitized against this factor is necessary to control and manage combat stress.

When soldiers fight to protect their country, they do not experience this sort of stress, because the ideal of sacrifice for their own country counteracts the stressful factor. This is the opposite of what happens to mercenaries. Another great challenge for biofeedback is to treat post traumatic stress returning soldiers suffer from. This is a process that has been described eloquently in a series of movies as well.

Suicide incidents among American soldiers increased from 12.0 per 100,000 in 2004, to 22.3 per 100,000 in 2009.

How much alike is a soldier in the battlefield with a working man under the conditions of financial crisis in the field of day to day survival?

Let us remember that in France Telecom, 24 suicides were committed in just a few months.

Soldiers know that if they make it on the field for a while, they will be replaced and they will go home to live a peaceful life with their families, enjoying benefits from the state for the services they provided. A working man, however, especially in the Greek civil sector, lives in a “battlefield” with thousands of traps which he doesn’t know whether he will survive, he is never certain if he is going to get a pension and go live in peace with his family. He also knows that the state will not only provide benefits, but it will try to cut down on what it is giving him, without acknowledging his services. 

He feels he is not working and not fighting for the country but just to fill in the black holes opened by others.

One might say that when we are talking about Greek civil servants who constantly slack off, none of the above is applicable. But if we take a closer look, we may conclude that this sort of behavior is nothing more than the reaction of fleeing the stressful factor of working for the civil sector. As we know, people react to stress in two ways : they fight or they flee. But you can’t fight against the Greek labor status quo, so employees are left with the option of fleeing, and they often adopt a passive aggressive behavior.

When it comes to consolidating a company through human resource management, I always start at the top in order to achieve optimum results. I firstly try to change directors to the best, to make them actually and not pretentiously human, more effectively communicative, so they can cooperate with their subordinates instead of pressuring them. I deal with the employees on a secondary basis, because if the business owners and directors don’t change, empolyees will not accept to change either. The same is applied to the state. The state should be the first to change in order for citizens to follow.

Some say that we can change things together. I do not disagree, but togetherness is a domino process that needs to start somewhere. And this starting point is the state, because it is the state that has the necessary mechanisms to start the changing process.

Citizens cannot bring about essential changes on their own, even if they want to. They cannot realize these changes if the state doesn’t create the necessary mechanisms and infrastructure. Therefore, the state should lead and the rest of us should follow, because “together” is a huge force that we cannot let go to waste.

In order to survive our stressful environments, we should either change the rules of the game or incorporate stress control in everybody’s education.

The state should also realize that it cannot command citizens without respecting them. It is the time for citizens to consciously develop their social responsibility, but the state should set a good example first.

 

- Published in “INSURANCE MARKET” magazine

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