It is strikingly common for people in management positions to die of a heart attack or stroke between the ages of 55 and 60. This is often due to a stressful lifestyle and the mental and physical problems that result. Because work is considered to be the trigger in this case, this form of the disease is referred to as a managerial disease .
What is Manager Disease?
According to Howsmb, managerial disease includes cardiovascular problems. The term was coined in the 1950s because it was noticed that a very large proportion of the managerial group suffered from cardiac arrhythmia, shooting pains in the chest and arteriosclerosis in the heart area. The latter can lead to a coronary occlusion, which can occur as a result of metabolic disorders caused by hormonal influences or by low oxygen supply to the tissues.
Nicotine and alcohol intake and lack of physical activity are other components that make managers ill. Obesity and the resulting blood pressure disorders are also causes of this disease. Heart stabbing, also known as angina pectoris, occurs when the area around the heart is poorly supplied with blood because the coronary arteries are already narrowed by calcium deposits.
It can occur in varying degrees and in different parts of the body. The pain is most often localized from the chest to the base of the neck. The lower jaw can also be affected. It happens that a slight pain appears in the arms, in the stomach area and in the upper back. Such seizures can be severe in intensity and cause death from heart attack.
This clinical picture is triggered by the particular physical and mental stress that managers are exposed to. They do not have or do not take the time to work through conflicts because their professional commitment is extremely high and their thinking is always progressive or entrepreneurial. The situation is more difficult for managers who have fought for their position through their own efforts and with the help of their studies than for those who have grown into such a position out of a family tradition.
Having role models in leadership positions from an early age and being able to deal with the corresponding values reduces the stress factor. They were able to familiarize themselves with the obligations and responsibilities they have to bear as a manager. Managers without this background often find themselves in a conflict that can promote the psychogenic manager illness. They are at the mercy of an inner turmoil as they need to realize that they are not irreplaceable for traditional reasons, but rather interchangeable. That is why they work constantly.
Symptoms, Signs & Ailments
However, two facts are important for a person’s ability to perform: People cannot use their full strength themselves, which means that a certain percentage of their energy is used as a reserve for exceptional situations. This can be used in the event of physical or mental illness. At the same time, the willingness to perform changes several times a day from external to internal work.
External work means all movement processes and brain activities. The inner work stands for the production of biochemical energy substances and the elimination of toxic metabolic products. Now when the ambitious manager takes coffee or alcohol and nicotine or other stimulants, he interrupts the natural alternation of outer and inner work.
And if he continues to extend his working hours, he interferes with the day-night rhythm. If he then sits in difficult board meetings or similar negotiations, his energy reserves are tapped because the hormone adrenaline is released into the bloodstream as a result of this stress. And so its additional performance reserves are rapidly depleted.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Managers often feel rushed at this stage and no longer able to cope with everyday stress. They are overwhelmed by all their professional obligations and the demands that attach to them as part of their part-time jobs, which are important for representative reasons. They complain of feeling driven and having no free time.
They complain of listlessness, are exhausted and depressed. They state that they are constantly tired and that this condition makes their thoughts thick. This means that they can no longer concentrate. The original ideas are missing. The mental quick-wittedness in the conversations is missing. You can only find answers with difficulty. Your speech becomes flat, slow, and sluggish. The vocabulary seems to be shrinking.
Manager disease primarily causes various heart and circulatory problems in the patient. The disease does not always have to lead to life-threatening situations or complications. In the long run, however, managerial disease can cause serious damage to the body and thus significantly reduce life expectancy and quality of life.
It can also lead to a stroke, in which the person affected can die in the worst case. Sleep disorders and a general irritability of the patient also occur, resulting in considerable social difficulties and limitations. It also leads to reduced resilience and fatigue in the patient. Those affected often appear listless and suffer from depression or other mental health problems.
Personality disorders and severe headaches can occur. As a rule, no direct treatment of the managerial illness is necessary, since the symptoms can be treated relatively well with rest and relaxation. There are also no complications when treatment is initiated. The symptoms can lead to cramps and an undersupply of various organs, which has a very negative effect on health.
When should you go to the doctor?
Adults between the mid-50s and 60s who lead a very stressful lifestyle due to their private and professional commitments should see a doctor at regular intervals for check-ups. In the case of cardiac activity disorders, abnormalities in blood pressure, diffuse anxiety or sweating, the symptoms need to be clarified by a doctor.
If there are irregularities in digestion, reduced drive and persistent concern that the performance provided is not sufficient, a doctor’s visit is recommended. If the person concerned regularly consumes alcohol and nicotine, the blood values should be monitored by a doctor. In the case of a hectic everyday life, a professional activity with high potential for responsibility or a tendency to brooding, a doctor’s consultation is necessary.
An inner experience of stress, restlessness, activity and sleep disorders are further indications that should be followed up. If temporary intolerance to food occurs, mood swings or irritability occur, the person concerned needs help. In a comprehensive check-up examination, everyday complaints can be discussed and possible risk factors can be minimized. If there is a high level of memory performance almost every day, there are only seldom periods of rest or recovery and a reduced zest for life is noticed if the person concerned makes changes. Together with a doctor, possible ways can be discussed so that an improvement in well-being occurs.
Treatment & Therapy
In healthy people, blood vessels constrict when it is cold and dilate when it is warm. In the case of a manager who suffers from the symptoms of fatigue just mentioned, the blood vessels react more intensely. If the fatigue is already very advanced, any cold or heat stimulus can trigger cramps. This can dissolve, but it can also lead to an undersupply of an organ. This is how a stroke or stomach ulcer occurs.
Outlook & Forecast
If the current lifestyle is maintained, the prognosis of managerial disease is unfavorable. It comes to serious health complications that pose a threat to life. As the disease progresses, those affected are at risk of having a stroke or heart attack. In order to improve the prospects for further development, restructuring is therefore necessary in everyday life. The fulfillment of daily duties must be coordinated with the possibilities of the organism. The manager illness represents a health overload for those affected. Due to the way of life, there are various health disorders that must be taken into account.
Nutrition, exercise and sleep hygiene should be optimized to improve development. In addition, it should be checked which physical and emotional stressors can be reduced to a minimum. Work commitments should be altered to provide long-term relief from symptoms. In most cases, the patient must learn to delegate responsibility. In addition, a change in cognitive patterns is advisable. As soon as the affected person allows his or her body to be more calm and balanced, there will be significant relief.
Freedom from symptoms is achieved as soon as a work-life balance is established. The design of leisure activities is therefore just as important as the fulfillment of professional tasks. Only a balance between well-being, joie de vivre and the pursuit of success can avert this life-threatening condition.
In order to prevent this, it is necessary to incorporate a few healthy aspects into everyday life. Daily exercise is one of the most important points. Light exercise, cycling or jogging is enough to avoid the risk of a heart attack. At the same time, it is advisable to stop consuming stimulants or at least to reduce them to a minimum and to eat healthily. This not only helps the body but also the mind.
Manager disease causes circulatory and heart problems in those who are ill. Affected people do not always suffer from complications or life-threatening situations, so no follow-up care is actually necessary. A healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep and exercise that avoids stress can prevent further symptoms and ailments and increase general well-being.
Those affected should try to focus on a positive healing process despite the adversity. To establish the right attitude, relaxation exercises and meditation can help calm and focus the mind. Because they are constantly irritable due to the disease and suffer from insomnia, sufferers may experience fatigue. This can lead to mental illnesses as well as severe depression and listlessness. If these occur to an unusual extent, a psychologist should be consulted to clarify the extent to which therapy makes sense.
You can do that yourself
Managerial disease is one of the disorders that the affected person can usually do more to cure than the doctor. The physical symptoms are predominantly of a psychogenic nature. The typical side effects of high blood pressure, gastric colic and angina pectoris, which often leads to a heart attack, can best be prevented by targeted stress management. A top manager does not have an eight-hour day and has to work regularly even on weekends. But that is precisely why it is absolutely necessary to reduce this stress regularly and to allow yourself time off again and again. Managers who have problems with this should seek professional help as soon as possible, which a mentor or a correspondingly specialized psychologist can provide.
Above all, a sensible lifestyle is important, which includes a healthy, vitamin-rich diet on a predominantly plant-based basis, as well as regular exercise and sufficient sleep. A healthy diet combined with exercise prevents serious obesity, which otherwise intensifies the other symptoms of managerial disease, especially high blood pressure and heart problems. Sufficient sleep is essential for mental health and an important prerequisite for reducing stress, which should never be compensated for with alcohol, nicotine or other drugs.
In order to be able to cope better with acute stressful situations, those affected should instead learn relaxation techniques such as yoga or autogenic training.