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← Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine

Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine - Comments

at3p's Avatar Comment 1 by at3p

This is ridiculous. There already are a lot of methods to reduce stress... from physical exercise, to drugs, to good food and to any form of sex. It's a waste of time and, being a vaccine which basically pacifies people, it has a really large potential for unethical practices and dangerous consequences for society.

Why not try to reduce the social and environmental factors which continuously sustain stress?

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:02:42 UTC | #498601

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 2 by Chris Roberts

That has got to be one of the most interesting articles I have read in a long time.

A life-times work that leads to so many answers is to be applauded.

Robert Sapolsky is a genius, and Jonah has written this superbly.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:04:16 UTC | #498603

OpposableThumbs 's Avatar Comment 3 by OpposableThumbs

I agree with you nails. A very worthwhile read.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 20:59:52 UTC | #498658

sandman67's Avatar Comment 4 by sandman67

Why find a stress vaccine when nature in its grand diversity provides already?

Its called THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol

Feeling stressed? Smoke a joint.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 07:28:48 UTC | #498808

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 5 by bendigeidfran

Comment 4 by sandman67

Unless you're someone who gets the heebie jeebies a stressed person...

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 08:35:13 UTC | #498826

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 6 by hungarianelephant

Magnificent article. Thanks for posting.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 09:08:31 UTC | #498845

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 7 by cheesedoff17

I too, found it a fascinating read. Hats off to Sapolsky! Totally recommend.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 09:29:06 UTC | #498854

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 8 by cheesedoff17


To reduce the present social factors would be very difficult. Perhaps sometime in the future we will produce a society in which all members share all knowledge and resources equally. Either by genetic modification or receiving computer implants. For the moment, we live in a world were far too many are born and are so down trodden that they they don't even think of rebelling unless they are starving and often at that point they haven't got the energy to.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:00:50 UTC | #498930

njwong's Avatar Comment 9 by njwong

A very fascinating read. This article complements other articles I have been reading recently about Severe Depression. I have often thought that depression is caused by psychological factors. However, I have recently learnt that depression can also result from biological causes, and if so, can be successfully treated by medication (instead of plain counselling and psychoanalytic therapy).

Thus, it was most intriguing to read that it might be possible in the future to treat stress with a vaccine. But perhaps it is really not so surprising, since the brain is basically a biological unit, that brain disorders can be treated with medication. I guess in the future, every kind of illness can be treated with medication. To parody Steve Jobs, we may soon be uttering the catchphrase: "There's a med for that."

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 17:02:22 UTC | #499080

EvN's Avatar Comment 10 by EvN

Excellent read.

This reminded me of how terrified I was of baboons as a child. They are fearsome creatures. I remember watching the dominant females and wondering about the powerful influence they had on the troop.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:07:39 UTC | #499107

katt33's Avatar Comment 11 by katt33

There are many ways to deal with stress, even just sitting in a quiet spot with headphone, and playing soothing classical music can de-stress. We don't need any more vaccines.

We really need to find ways to heal and deal with stress that are as natural as possible.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 19:21:23 UTC | #499139

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 12 by cheesedoff17

If you are interested, you can watch a great video on by Sapolsky.

Wed, 11 Aug 2010 20:29:44 UTC | #499176

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 13 by mordacious1

Comment 11 by katt33

We don't need any more vaccines.

We don't? We don't need a vaccine for HIV? Cancer? Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can take a vaccine, but it takes somebody with big cojones to stare cancer right in the face.

So you wouldn't take a cancer vaccine? What would you do if you got something nasty, like Hitchens, rub a friggin' crystal on it?

Science has provided us with life-saving vaccines, hopefully there are more coming down the pike...for me, if not you.

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 00:59:47 UTC | #499249

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 14 by Tyler Durden

Comment 11 by katt33 :

We don't need any more vaccines.

Yes, we do.

The latest human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer has been rolled out in most western countries, thus saving lives. If we were to listen to the likes of you and your crazy ilk, we wouldn't research and develop new vaccines to combat such insidious diseases.

Why are you against saving lives?

What we don't need is any more irrational quacks like you commenting on subjects you clearly know nothing about.

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 08:26:13 UTC | #499355

epeeist's Avatar Comment 15 by epeeist

Comment 11 by katt33 :

We really need to find ways to heal and deal with stress that are as natural as possible.

Could I ask whether you actually accept the germ theory of disease? I have only just come across people who deny it -

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 08:46:35 UTC | #499369

at3p's Avatar Comment 16 by at3p

@cheesedoff17 I know... and the process and technology is fascinating, but still, it would only treat symptoms, which is a form of long term abuse. What would be next? A vaccine for treating realism? There's already a procedure for that... induced coma.

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 10:34:51 UTC | #499404

EvN's Avatar Comment 17 by EvN

Comment 11 by katt33

We really need to find ways to heal and deal with stress that are as natural as possible.

So earphones and classical music are "natural"?

Any volunteers to put earphones on a stressed-out baboon?

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:32:52 UTC | #499482

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 18 by cheesedoff17

Surely there is a difference, between mild forms of stress which can be helped by relaxation, music or a good holiday, which is the sort of stress i think Katt33 has in mind, and the much more severe form Sapolsky is concerned with that is chronic stress caused by being at the bottom of the social hierarchy. A more egalitarian society would be less stressful but it is not on the visible horizon. Anti-depressives are already in massive use. A vaccine could be helpful, why not?

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:32:02 UTC | #499631

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 19 by Fouad Boussetta

Wow! Great article...About one of the most important topics in life. I strongly recommend Sapolsky's book "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers".

Fri, 13 Aug 2010 00:49:26 UTC | #499674

at3p's Avatar Comment 20 by at3p

18 @chseesedoff17

Here are a few quirks, small and large:

What if it becomes really popular? I mean it would probably be more effective than current pills.

How would people react to the problems of life if just the stress was gone?

Would apathy become conventional?

What are the political implications in democracies where such a vaccine would be in large scale use? What about despotic regimes? Would the vaccine-companies have moratoriums against selling to governments which want to stop social unrest?

There's no historical precedent for responsible usage in such cases...

Also, I would like to add that the your observation concerning the usage of anti-depressives is not proof that they work, just that they're highly addictive. From what I've read about the SRIs and my encounters with people which are on them, they have a short positive effect, since the brain slowly reacts to the increase in serotonin by decreasing the numbers of serotonin receptors on cells and by decreasing the serotonin production (which leads to serious mental problems unless you up the dosage regularly; I know such cases from personal experience).

P.S. I'm not against vaccines; and I would actually love to see a vaccine which increases the efficiency of human digestive system and metabolism, so humans would need less food (SF...?)

Fri, 13 Aug 2010 13:55:18 UTC | #499818

katt33's Avatar Comment 21 by katt33

re-phrase. If we can deal with stress through music, exercise and such, why use a vaccine. I tried the FM drugs, can't tolerate them, so doubt I could tolerate a vaccine. With my health constantly hitting me with a new boomerang, like now skin cancer and surgery, after just having had a pre-cancer breast tumor removed, if I had to take a pharmaceutical for all my health problems, I would be such a zombie and completely unable to function. I prefer to find ways to relax and de-stress to minimize my symptoms.

If one can deal with stress, and illness without drugs, why not. If there is absolutely no alternative that works for one other than a vaccine or a pharmaceutical, then it has to be taken, unless you are severely allergic and then you have to find an alternative, which a patient, in conjunction with a competent licensed professional can do.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:45:09 UTC | #500408

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 22 by cheesedoff17


For the moment there is nothing but an idea in Sapolsky's head. He has observed processes which lead to Chronic Stress among primates. Research shows that Chronic Stress in humans can have debilitating effects on mental and physical health. It seems to me, that if there was some help available, in whatever form, for certain highly stressful experiences, for example. Premature babies kept in incubators, children separated from parents, orphans, children who have witnessed violence. None of whom receive help, they would be less disadvantaged than they currently are. True, antidepressants don't suit everybody. There are side effects and must be taken permanently for them to be effective. Nevertheless, they help millions every day lead effective lives. Such people are not apathetic. Antidepressants are not tranquilizers, which did turn people into zombies. Whatever Sapolsky comes up with,if he manages to at all, it will have to be something aimed at people at risk. not something given indiscriminately to every one.

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 17:59:11 UTC | #500678

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 23 by cheesedoff17


If you can cope with the stress that your health problems must cause you, by listening to music and yoga or whatever, that's great, good for you. Unfortunately, many other people suffer greatly, often without even understanding the root cause of their dis-ease.

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 18:54:48 UTC | #500703