Also called: Psychological stress

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, and it can be life-saving. But chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm.

There are at least three different types of stress:

  • Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family, and other daily responsibilities
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness
  • Traumatic stress, which happens when you are in danger of being seriously hurt or killed. Examples include a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster. This type of stress can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some people experience digestive symptoms. Others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger, and irritability. People under chronic stress get more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold. Vaccines, such as the flu shot, are less effective for them.

Some people cope with stress more effectively than others. It's important to know your limits when it comes to stress, so you can avoid more serious health effects.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of Stress

The following features are indicative of Stress:
  • headache
  • muscle tension or pain
  • chest pain
  • fatigue
  • change in sex drive
  • upset stomach
  • sleep problems
  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • lack of motivation or focus
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • irritability or anger
  • sadness or depression
  • overeating or undereating
  • angry outbursts
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • tobacco use
  • social withdrawal
  • exercising less often
It is possible that Stress shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Stress

The following are the most common causes of Stress:
  • pressures of work, family, and other daily responsibilities
  • losing a job, divorce, or illness
  • danger of being seriously hurt or killed
  • accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster

Risk Factors for Stress

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Stress:
  • family pressure
  • work pressure
  • sudden negative change
  • accident
  • war
  • natural disaster

Prevention of Stress

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Stress. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • regular physical activity
  • socializing with family and friends
  • setting aside time for hobbies
  • get plenty of sleep
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • avoid tobacco use
  • avoid excess caffeine
  • avoid alcohol intake

Occurrence of Stress

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Stress cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Stress can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Stress can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Stress

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Stress:
  • Psychological testing: To measure the level of stress
  • Blood pressure evaluation: To check levels of stress
  • Galvanic skin response test: To measure the levels of stress
  • Cortisone level test: To evaluate stress level of an individual

Doctor for Diagnosis of Stress

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Stress:
  • Mental health care provider

Complications of Stress if untreated

Yes, Stress causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Stress is left untreated:
  • depression
  • anxiety

Self-care for Stress

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Stress:
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: Helps reducing stress
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet: Helps to stay fit
  • Exercise regularly: Helps managing stress
  • Get plenty of sleep: Helps managing stress
  • Stay active: To cope with stressful feelings

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Stress

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Stress:
  • Deep breathing: Helps providing relief from stress
  • Meditation: Helps managing stress
  • Yoga: Helps relaxing mind and body
  • Tai chi thearpy: Helps providing relaxation to mind
  • Massage therapy: Helps relaxing mind and body

Patient Support for Treatment of Stress

The following actions may help Stress patients:
  • Friends and family support: Sharing about problems and stress really can lighten the burden
  • Connect socially: Helps managing stress

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Stress.
Mental Health
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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