Protests bad for your health: specialist

Protests bad for your health: specialist
Office workers join anti-government protesters during an impromptu demonstration in central Bangkok November 29, 2013.

BANGKOK - Jessada Chokdamrongsuk, director-general of the Mental Health Department, issued this warning Tuesday, after a recent survey found two-thirds of polled people said they had experienced stress, especially those living near the protest sites.

Jessada said stress could cause people to develop physical problems such as insomnia, muscle strains and headache and could worsen heart disease or high blood pressure. They might also feel anxiety, aggression and mood swings, according to how situations develop.

He said prolonged stress could lead to depression and possible suicidal thoughts. He also warned that besides the protesters, people working at rally sites such as medical personnel, rescue workers or volunteers could suffer from stress due to urgent situations, pressure, fear and unsafe conditions.

He advised all to try to keep their main daily activities such as eating and sleeping as normal as possible, and do relaxing activities such as exercise or spending time with family, sharing thoughts with colleagues, or writing a journal. Those with concerns can call the department hotline, 1323.

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