The Greatest Problem Of Modern Times: Why Do We Constantly Feel Tired?


We all do what we have to do, but feel like we barely have the energy to do so. So why is it the case? Why do we constantly feel tired? Is this something recent caused by our modern way of life, or have we humans felt like this throughout the ages?

Is exhaustion a modern day problem?

It's self evident that exhaustion is a problem that's steadily increasing; this is especially true for people who work in certain fields. A study in Germany showed that 50% of medical doctors feel exhausted at any given time of the day.

Men and women cope with it in different ways

Another study, this one done in Finland, showed that male employees who felt constantly tired took more leave than their female colleagues. This suggests that men find it more difficult to cope with exhaustion.

Some researchers claim that constant tiredness is caused by depression.

Researchers say that the reason we call it "exhaustion" is because it doesn't signify a mental disorder like depression, it sounds more "normal" to us. Our culture tends to view depression and other mental disorders as weaknesses.

On the other hand, these two conditions differ in many ways.

Depression is composed of low self esteem, self loathing and hatred, whereas constant tiredness has little to do with the person's "self." Exhausted people tend to channel their hatred towards others, like the company they work for, their boss or their customers, but not to themselves.

Modern day worries are one of the key factors behind exhaustion.

Life has never been so fast paced as it is today and our brains constantly try and adapt to these changes. Our "fight or flight" response is constantly being triggered by the emphasis made on productivity and our need to prove ourselves through our work. This is all caused by a constant feeling of being under threat. The stress hormones we secrete during the day makes us feel as though we're in a never ending battle.

The pressure we feel isn't only about work.

It's thought that living in large cities and technology are key factors that contribute to constant tiredness. This is mainly because the constant flow of information in cities and in virtual space makes it impossible to sit down and relax at all.

Anna Katharina Schaffner, a medical historian of Kent University, is researching the historical aspect of this condition.

It wasn't pure coincidence that made Schaffner interested in the subject. She, like millions of others, suffers from chronic tiredness. According to Schaffner's research, this constant state of tiredness is something that came about with our modern times.

One of the oldest texts about exhaustion was written by Roman physician Galen.

Galen, much like Hippocrates, believed that both physical and mental diseases were caused by the imbalance of four different moods. Galen claimed that a mood called melancholy decreased the blood flow in the body and stopped it from reaching the brain; this theory, of course, can't be considered scientific today, but it gives us an idea of how Galen tied tiredness and depression.

Schaffner believes that tiredness is a part of human nature.

It can be concluded that humans throughout the ages have help tiredness, much like they do today, but it's worth mentioning that the intense city lives we live and technology has definitely affected us in a negative way. Schaffner believes the way to cure our tiredness varies from person to person and adds: "You have to know what consumes your energy."

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