Stress is a magic wand.

Despite the obvious “correlation is not causation!” criticism of the title, this piece talks about an interesting study where children of alcoholics are more likely to drink more – but ONLY if they encounter stressful situations.

This is yet another example of what I call the “magic wand” property of stress. There are so many cases (ulcers, schizophrenia, depression) where just having the biological (whether genes or bacteria) propensity for a disease isn’t enough – you need stress to trigger it. So, you can say the words of the spell as many times or as loudly as you want…unless you have the magic wand, nothing is going to happen.