Career Focus


BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 29 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:S3-7158

The backlash against the stress management industry has begun, according to a recent report in IRS Employee Health Bulletin (1998;4:14-16). To its critics, stress is a catchall term comparable to the Victorian “nerves”, its science is sloppily worked, and the concept is driving the nation to a “death-wish of helplessness.” The dilemma at the heart of the argument is whether problems with social origins should be treated medically or by enhancing “stress competence” - the cognitive skills needed to manage changing lifestyles.

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