During Algeria’s first national forum on the complications of stress and anxiety, held on 4 May 2019 at the Frantz Fanon Hospital in Blida city, under the slogan: “Anxiety: The Silent Killer”, experts and physicians revealed that about 90 per cent of chronic diseases are caused by anxiety and stress disorders. The experts confirmed that anxiety is the prime cause of death in the country and contributes significantly to premature births. Thus, experts urged for the need to avoid anxiety triggers through exercising, maintaining healthy social interactions, and further maintaining the spirituality aspect.
In the same context, Dr Amira Boukhalari, OB-GYN at the Hassiba Ben Bouali Hospital, based in Blida city, confirmed that many of the premature birth cases received by her unit were caused by the fact that these pregnant women have been subjected to stress or anger. Boukhalari indicated that being exposed to anxiety during the first months of pregnancy “puts pregnant women at risk of miscarriage and may even affect the fetus’ development”, in addition to “the possibility of postnatal exposure to other diseases, such as autism or other mental and physiological defects”.
Dr Khadija Daray of Frantz Fanon Hospital warned of the risk of exposing pregnant women to psychological pressure or stress, especially that women during this stage become “very sensitive, which may lead to miscarriage or premature birth, sometimes resulting in the death of the fetus”.
During the forum, the participants discussed the various diseases caused by the anxiety factor, most notably gastrointestinal diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which has been affecting more Algerians in recent years due to being exposed to stressful experiences at personal and professional levels. As such, stress and anxiety lie behind 90 per cent of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Dr Nebouch, a dermatologist at the Frantz Fanon Hospital, asserted that “stress and anxiety can lead to skin diseases that lead to hair loss experienced by many women and men alike.”
In a related context, specialists also warned of the danger of abusing antidepressants that may lead to addiction, calling every person suffering from a stressful and anxious lifestyle to exercise daily, especially walking, in addition to following a healthy diet.