Doctors are good about passing along test results, and giving advice that’ll improve your health, but they rarely say everything that’s on their mind. That’s because they’re worried we might get overwhelmed or embarrassed. So, let’s ditch the sugarcoating, and explain what our doctors want us to know:

  • Your job could kill you. Dr. Anabelle Volgman is medical director of Chicago’s Rush Heart Center. She points out that workplace stress can lead to stroke, heart attack or even sudden cardiac death. One of her patients was wearing a heart-monitoring device to track heart palpitations. And right after the woman’s boss told her she needed to work even harder than she had been, she experienced a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia. The doctor said flat out that the stress could kill her. So, the woman quit her job, and less than a month later, was almost back to normal.

  • Never stop taking antidepressants without a doctor’s guidance! Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Philip Muskin says that stopping antidepressants abruptly can cause everything from nausea, to mood swings, to shooting pains. And if you quit cold turkey, you’re much more likely to relapse – especially if you haven’t been taking the drug for very long.

  • Stay out of the sun! Dr. Robert Kirsner is the chief of dermatology at University of Miami Hospital. He says that some people believe they look healthier with a tan. Or they need UV rays to get vitamin D – even though you can get enough from diet and supplements. But nobody’s immune to skin cancer. In fact, 1-in-5 of us will develop it in our lifetime. He’d like everyone to avoid sun exposure as much as possible.