Being bitter can ruin your health – CNN.com.
(CNN) — Kevin Benton had every reason to feel bitter.
During his sophomore year in college, he says, white students harassed him and the only other African-American living on the floor in his dorm in order to get them to move out.
The white students spat on their doors, tore their posters off the wall, and banged on their door at four in the morning. When Benton brought up the problems at a dorm meeting, the other students snickered.
“I felt like I was being bullied, being targeted,” he says now of his college experience 19 years ago. “I knew I couldn’t retaliate in any way or I’d lose my basketball scholarship.”
This was the first time in his life Benton had encountered racism and it hit him hard. He had trouble sleeping, and then over the next several months he suffered panic attacks. Admitted to the hospital, he was found to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or thickening of the muscles in the heart. The disease is the leading cause of heart-related sudden death in people under 30.
So sick he couldn’t walk, Benton lay in his hospital bed bitter and resentful. Continue reading