23/10

Let Me Down Gently

By Geisha Bar
Sick-dog

As many of you will no doubt be aware, I love, love, looooooove to party!

But I also work really bloody hard too!

Uni is a really demanding place. I know that many people see students as slackers who just dick around all day skiving off with their mates – but for most of us, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is a full time uni schedule literally a full time gig (if you’re doing it right you should be allocating 14 hours to each class per week – this includes lectures, labs, assignments, field trips etc.

I take four classes, which is 56 hours per week; plus I work 16 hours per week. So that’s 72 hours a week of working, with a constant stress gnawing away at the back of my mind about “doing well”. So when you throw all of that together, you get a pretty stressful, busy lifestyle – especially with exams approaching. And that brings me to the topic of today’s lecture, class.

At the end of every semester, I get sick. Like, FULL-BLOWN SICK. It’s like my body suspiciously knows exactly the point that it’s allowed to completely check out on me, and it does it, like an hour after my final exam every time. And I have friends who, when they take a vacation from work, get sick the SECOND their annual leave starts ticking away.

HOW WEIRD (AND ANNOYING) IS THAT!?

Angrily demanding answers, I turned to the trusty web to find out what the dealio is with this mysterious ailment. Turns out it’s an actual thing – it’s a stress disorder known as the Let-Down Effect.

The Let-Down Effect is something that happens when your body is no longer able to ward off any inflammation, infection or illness after a stressful period. When people are under stress, the immune system puts its best foot forward, all hands on deck, to keep you healthy – it stimulates your immune system. But then, once the stressful time is over, the brain tells the immune system the work is done, and then the immune armies all fuck right back off, leaving us super vulnerable to infection – because not only is our immune system now suppressed, it’s actually below baseline levels. And that is how you end up getting down with the sickness.

So what can we do about it?

Not much. Just try not to be stressed ever (ha!).

Love, Akika xoxoxoxoxooxox