Stress: Portrait of a Killer

Stress: Portrait of a Killer

2008, Science  -   92 Comments
Ratings: 7.93/10 from 193 users.

Stress: Portrait of a KillerProlonged, sustained, excessive stress and your similar response to it, not only causes deterioration of your brain, but it also compromises your immune system; your ability to fight off diseases.

Thousands of years ago, we mostly lived until we either starved, were accidentally poisoned or we were eaten by another animal. Now, we have the distinct ability to slowly kill ourselves over a period of about 80 years with chemical laced foods, too much alcohol and prolonged reaction to stressful events. All are avoidable, if we make the choice to do so.

Unfortunately, most of the people who really need the information in this documentary will never see it and the vast majority who do see it will ignore it. Only those determined to live a quality life for as long as possible will pay attention to this video.

At the present time, 1 in 4 of us will die in a state of dementia or with Alzheimer's. If you want to increase your odds against that happening, then watch this video, pay attention to it, re-watch it several times and invest in a scientifically proven brain fitness program.

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2 years ago

even though I only watched it for a certain class, it is really deep once you start to think about it. This video enlighten you on so many things. I really enjoyed watching this video. I'm usually not the type to like and sit through a whole documentary, but I did and it was worth it.

3 years ago

watching it stressed me out

4 years ago

lol i have to watch this documentary for my bio class. :(

Herb Spencer
5 years ago

This is brilliant and has huge implications for the Dysfunctional human societies we have created. Thank goodness, there are people like Sapolsky to make insightful observations.

7 years ago

I thought with an 8.5 rating this would be an interesting doc....Not so.

7 years ago

nice but very long

FaZe Rain
7 years ago

This is a very good documentary, but it is super long and took me three days to watch. Can you make a version for dummies like me.

Virginia Olsen
7 years ago

WOW, is all I can say. Extremely enlightening.

8 years ago

This Documentary was very informative on stress and it's physical damages to human and animal anatomy.

8 years ago

I think this is sort of BS. I know at my work things would get more stressful the higher up you go, maybe it's not true in government :P Also - look at the physical differences between a high ranking and low ranking gorilla! One is in much better shape and it has a lot to do with geneology and exercise. I don't think it's fair to say the gorillas have an equal amount of exercise when some are half the size. I agree there is very likely correlation - but the first half of this doc hasn't mentioned fitness.

10 years ago

A good documentary. I don't think that it is any great surprise that chronic stress deteriorates one's health. Perhaps the greatest risk is how we deal with stress. Ultimately, exercise is the greatest cure, which restores the body back to equilibrium. The choices we make, regardless of our position in life, will determine how stressful life will be. (who we choose to associate with, what we do for work, how many offspring do we intend to raise) Balance, moderation, and variety will always rule the day!

10 years ago

how can I watch these videos ?they are not working

10 years ago

I guess the secret to a better world is to kill off the alpha males in society. haha

tim ruhani
10 years ago

Great informative Documentary.
There is too many of those ugly agressive primates living amongst us. However GOD works in mysterious ways, and you never know when he'll take them out.


11 years ago

100%,in fact i would go as far to say these guys nailed it.I have watched a 1000 docus i have read more books but never has any information been so accurate about a human condition.well done this is a gem in a heap of coal.

Jason Hornbuckle
11 years ago

I like how the implication here is to kill of the alpha males. lol. well, they don't say that but it crossed my mind. One thing they don't mention though, is whether the alpha males provide anything of value to the group in exchange, like protection against predators. ( not that this would justify their jerk behavior, but it would be relavent to the whole picture.)

11 years ago

Wow. This explains so much! I never would have thought.

There is one thing I am a bit confused about, however: For the majority of the video, it was said that the Alpha males suffered less stress, and therefore were less susceptible to disease. However towards the end of the video, when it was mentioned that the troop lost the Alpha males to TB and the females and lower-ranking baboons survived, doesn't that contradict what was said in the first place? Since the Alphas weren't exposed to as much stress, wouldn't that make them more immune to disease?

Also, some more and better tips on how to reduce stress in our everyday lives would have been helpful. Gain more control - I can't really gain much more control if I don't have it in the first place.

But other than that, very good documentary. Informative, interesting, and an eye-opener.

All this time I thought diet was the main contributor to heart disease, high cholesterol, and stomach issues. This would also explain what causes acne, too - it has been found that how you view yourself and how much stress you experience regularly can contribute to acne flare ups, not only in teenagers much adults who suffer from acne as well.

They should consider researching how stress levels effect susceptibility to cancer and neurological problems, such as epilepsy.

11 years ago

Someone commented, "What's the point? We can't kill all the Alpha males."
Of course we can't, but since we are humans and smarter than baboons- we can create systems of management that keep the alphas from becoming bullies and develop hierarchies with managers that work toward stress free work environments.

11 years ago

"...for every subordinate living a life of baboon uncertainty, there is an alpha, strutting his stuff, glorying in power over someone else".

COMPLETELY WRONG! For every alpha there are tens, hundreds or thousands of subordinates. Obviously it's NOT a one-to-one correspondence as the above statement implies. That's the NATURE OF HIERARCHIES - it's a tree-like structure with only a few nodes at the top. The obvious point to be drawn from this stress data is that hierarchies are inherently damaging and poisonous to the human spirit. But they don't make that obvious point because the documentary as a whole is pro-hierarchy. Why? Because all the money to make such documentaries comes from the top our human hierarchies. Instead the scientist at the end suggests finding a hierarchy that YOU can dominate, even if it's only the company softball team. What utter nonsense. Don't dominate anyone nor allow yourself to be dominated! Duh. But of course society would need to be restructured in non-hierarchical forms to make that possible for most or all.

His Forever
11 years ago

Wow. Good documentary.

Ok, Az and Razor and Epic: I figured out why Christians often live 10 years longer than the non-religious-----seriously. Apart from the actual possibility of God truly ANSWERING prayer, when you pray and say, "God, life is utter crap and I can't take this any longer! I'm giving it all to You!" (yes yes a direct quote), then when you actually BELIEVE that . . . your tellimeres on the ends of your chromosomes actually start to grooooooow all night long as you soundly and peacefully sleep!

That and the fact that I moved back to the Philippines where I feel more "alpha" much of the time really works! :-P

11 years ago

If you were stressed,wouldn't this make you more stressed?

11 years ago

This definitely sounds like an ad seminar or sales gimmick. You have a mixture of truth with error.

12 years ago

FYI, you can watch a lot of Robert Sapolsky's lectures on Stanford's channel on YouTube.

12 years ago

death to the jocks

12 years ago

good documentary, but the final suggestion makes no sense! The baboons thrived because the aggressive alpha males died non because they miraculously managed to get empowered. So, should we get rid of all the superambitious, high-achievers, power-hungry, egotistic, narcissistic idiots out there? mmmm...
Or maybe, instead of trying to get control over our lives, which is in itself an illusion, we can just stop taking our existence so seriously and enjoy the ride!

12 years ago

wow! proof from a graduate of "rockefeller" University that truly socialism is the best example of the "better life" This is possibly the most transparent and ridiculous propagandah piece I have ever seen! 5 minutes of research will lead you to understand where the curly haired man (with the two androgynous offfspring named Benjamin and I forget) funding comes from Institutions and families which have long sort to degrade self determination and sovereignty in America. Norman Dodd testifies to this with eloquence. "Yeah stress kills! Accept your place in a system!" Wankers!

12 years ago

... finally proof that if we just get rid of the A-Type, Alpha, Over-Dominant, Loud Mouthed Control Freaks... we'll all live in peace. Seriously though, great documentary. Great insight. Still find it hard to consider that evolution will manage to sort out our social conflicts. The tribe of baboons have every chance of entering their original state again. Who is to say that two decades before they were studied, they weren't just as relaxed as they are today. Then one day, one of the males decided to become a complete jerk and ruin it for everybody.

12 years ago

im stressed now lol

12 years ago

This doc. changed my life. I didn't realize what I was doing to myself. Well photographed, well paced, easy to understand. Anyone who "Just doesn't get it", well, just doesn't get it!!!Recommend A++++++++++++

12 years ago

This is where all the good documentaries are... all the stuff they won't show you on TV. You won't see this stuff on CNN

12 years ago

I'm 17 minutes throughgh and I can't believe this scientist doesn't see the correlation between Income (rank in the civil service) and what you can afford to buy to eat? The Baboons all eat natual organic food. Bad/processed food causes ulcers!

A Baboon or human's body would respond to a foreign fluid being injected, even if you pass out.

I hate this documentary. What about the stress they have caused with the Baboons, they will be missing the poor monkeys being tested on.

People in poor area's eat bad food and live a poorer lifestyle.

Fat put on by poor quality food is bad fat! Fat is used to store some vitamins.

If youe brain is not getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly, you will have a weaken immune system as your body is stressed.

And they are only testing some hormones of what they know; There are still more to be discovered.

He is too removed from society.

There are just too many factors that inflence stress, physical stress is not even mentioned or investgated.

Alzheimer’s is probably related to Food, something in processed food. Just see when processed food was introduced.

And it doesn't even demonstate how the body responds to stress overtime, or explain different stages of stress.

Rubbish and totally misleading. More misguiding information, when the problem is the bad quality food, while the world keeps getting fatter thinking industrial farming is good!

12 years ago

Hah, so all we gotta do is kill all our alpha males :P
I liked this doc, Looking back on my own health I can corroborate. As a kid till 8 years of age i had a double lot, a 50ft sandbox and my grandmas house down the road, no stress, healthy as an ox. Till roughly age 20, I had very little stress, still healthy as an ox, didn't even have cavities. Now, almost 15 years later, I am burdened by work stress, paying off bills that never seem to go away and fear for my safety in a city of over 1 million people and I feel my health is in decline.

12 years ago

very good documentary it is true less stress is way better :)

12 years ago

I make a concious descision to not stress on things. As soon as something stressful happens, I deal with it, no matter how big or small, but the most important thing is it is our choice to stress, or 'freak out' (as I was so happy to do so often in the past). It is not a requirement of any situation (even a gun in your face), it's just a conditioned response, an expected response. I'm not saying it's easy at first, but it can be learned. It's our choice.

12 years ago

nice docu !!!

12 years ago

Stoped watching after i heard rockerfeller

12 years ago

Man, this documentary is stressful.. lol

12 years ago

What is Stress??
Is doing you job leads to Stress! or Fat Obese people are stressed out!
The documentary was good, but what they suggest was ridiculous!

They also suggest that if all Alphas in the Society dies, there will be no stress in that community! What!

12 years ago

The point of life is not longevity, but what you do with the time you have. People have become so obsessed with living longer and longer. If only we could all direct that energy toward living better. I would sooner die at 45 having experienced life in all of its good and bad. Than live to 120 as a lobotomized unfeeling cow.

12 years ago

The point... Get rid of the Alpha's or make them more compassionate.

12 years ago

Excellent doc . Highly recommended. 9/10.

12 years ago

very interesting subject, although not enough information on what we can do as stressed-out people to prevent further manifestations of stressors. any suggestions??

12 years ago

Almost had to laugh early on when the Hippy looking research said, "Stress kills your brain cells." My first thought was. " Yes, and so does weed, but it also reduces stress."

Sieben Stern
12 years ago

stress only benefits the alphas in a society - they get more of the resources as the lower members die early and they are more likely to reproduce. when we let the rat race get out of control we are the ones that suffer, instead of getting ahead.

12 years ago

The narrator suggests a world without stress ? What a novel idea, but this would would be counter-evolutionary. Stress is a major influence on biological evolution, and without stress we would eventually become extinct.

12 years ago

This program illustrates quite well how stress can lead to a shorter life. The other day I received a pamphlet from the Heart Association of Canada. In the pamphlet it explained how heart disease and cardiac arrest is the biggest killer of women in modern times. 60% of women will die from cardiac arrest this pamphlet explained. 30% from various cancers and 10% other causes. I found this information very interesting. Who has not met a woman who is stressed out about something. So the results of this program are very accurate. Stress does lead to a shorter life.

12 years ago

Stress occurs when your Life Force Energy is drained from your mind/body by negative or (life depleting) emotionally traumatic experiences. What is interesting is that the effects of those experiences become stored in the mind/body as negative memories and continue to have a prolonged effect on mental, physical, and emotional health for the rest of one's life. If you take a look at one of those negative memories you'll immediately "see" (that is; experience) the energy draining effects it (they) continue to have.

It is now possible to completely reverse this process by permanently erasing/deleting any/all negative memories with a new coaching modality called the Mind Resonance Process (MRP). Each time a negative memory is erased the Life Force Energy that it was siphoning out of one's body returns and reintegrates itself. This is equivalent to reversing the negative effects of any negative (stressful) memory, restoring health and some believe even reversing the aging process.

Nick Arrizza M.D.

12 years ago

Very good documentary!
Currently i'm working in group projects a lot. Some people don't understand how much stress affects. I do understand but now i understand even more so. Thank you so much!

12 years ago

Interesting doc. the bacteria that causes stomach/duodenum ulcers is called "Helicobactor Pylori", can be cured with mega doses of antibiotics. And yes, stress plays a part.