The Rosie Factor

Rosie O’Donnell has been a stand-up comic, television actress, film actress, adoptive mother and daytime television talk-show host as well as a singer, author, gay rights activist, magazine editor and philanthropist, giving millions of dollars to a children’s foundation and other charities.  Since last November she has hosted a radio show on Sirius/XM where, this morning, I had the chance to inform her listeners about stress illness.

It was clear she understood the concept in a personal way, having lost her mother to cancer as a pre-teen, struggled publicly with depression and coped with some adversity in business.  Her co-host Janette Barber knows about stress illness first hand.  The broadcast was a pleasure to do and clearly useful to listeners.  Within an hour, there were many new visitors to my web site (over 700 more than usual by the end of the day) and several emailed about themselves.  Then the sales rank of my book on began to climb.  Usually it is ranked between 50,000 and 400,000 (out of several million).  By evening it had reached 3,500.  (All profits are used only to support my lectures.  I’m not trading in my Prius!)

This experience is a reminder of the tremendous need for information about stress and illness that is not being met by the health care system.  Millions of people, needlessly, are suffering unexplained physical symptoms.  Fortunately, as I write this, a small group of experts (myself included) are developing a standardized curriculum to train health care professionals how to perform a Stress Check-Up (also known as a Stress History).  When we have trained a sufficient number, we will go back to Rosie and her broadcast colleagues in North America and abroad, with a new message of hope.

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