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Symptoms of Stress 

The symptoms of stress are so varied and affect so many different areas of the body that it is often only a professional who will recognise the symptoms presented as being caused by stress.

Because stress can build up and eventually contribute or even cause other illnesses, the stressed person may not have realised that their symptoms are due to being stressed and only go to the doctors once a more obvious illness occurs.

So recognizing the symptoms of stress as early as you can is vital in preventing future problems and illnesses.

The next few pages describe some of the more common symptoms ranging from physical stress symptoms to Psychological stress symptoms.

Read through them so that you are able to recognise different forms of symptoms of stress which may occur in your life time.

Early Symptoms of Stress

There are of course early signs of stress which most people will recognise as being caused by stress. These include:

  • Feeling tense
  • Feeling hassled
  • Feeling under pressure
  • Unable to cope with every day tasks as well as you once could
  • Loss of sense of humour or being able to shrug things off

These are just a few early signs of stress and they can build up quickly if not checked. It is important that when these first symptoms of stress appear that you take control of them as soon as you can. Use the techniques and coping strategies mentioned inn other sections of this site to help you do this.

Choose the ones that feel right for you and ones which you know you will be able to do easily. There’s no point in getting even more stressed by trying to do things which you find difficult or uncomfortable.

Psychological Symptoms

Psychological = A mental process rather than a physical one.

Long term psychological stress saps energy and reduces your ability to cope with normal every day life. Suddenly things you used to be able to handle, now seem to tire you out and you feel drained.

A few psychological symptoms of stress are:

  • Concentration problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of confidence
  • Depression

Once these or similar signs appear you know you that stress is starting to control your life. Learning long term coping strategies should be a priority.

Tackle your stress before depression creeps up on you.

Emotional Symptoms

Emotion - A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort. Feelings etc.

Emotional symptoms of stress may be easily mistaken for being caused by other things other than being stressed. However it is often stress which has either built up or has been experienced for a log period of time which has brought on these symptoms.

Some emotional signs of stress are:

  • Nightmares
  • Anger
  • Fear of failure
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Hopelessness

This is your body giving you a heads up to recognise that you need to make some changes in your life to reduce the affects of stress.

Physical Symptoms

Physical - relating to the body as opposed to the mind or spirit

These symptoms are perhaps the ones can be misinterpreted as being caused by some reason other than stress and in some cases they are. But it is important to recognise that stress can play a big part in being the initial cause.

A few physical symptoms of stress are:

  • Muscle tension and spasms
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Tummy upsets
  • Hair Loss

Any changes in physical health should be checked by a doctor in the first instance to gain treatment for them and to rule out any other underlining illness.

However recognizing that stress may have played a part in these symptoms presenting should be acknowledged and addressed to prevent ongoing physical symptoms and the effects of stress in the long run.

Behavioral Symptoms

Behavior - The actions or reactions of a person or animal in response to external or internal stimuli.

People under stress will start to change or make noticeable changes to their behaviour often subconsciously. This is the bodies self protection mechanism kicking in, unfortunately it rarely solves the problem and can indeed add to the stress experienced by the individual over time.

A few behavioural symptoms of stress are:

  • Wringing of hands or hair pulling
  • Social withdrawal
  • Over eating
  • Obsessive behaviors

Stress Related Diseases

Although there is some discussion about the effects of stress in relation to the onset of disease there is a growing opinion that it certainly plays a role in contributing to it.

Unfortunately illness in itself can be very stressful and so there is a danger of a continuing down ward spiral of stress – illness- stress- illness.

There are many illness which are said to be contributed by stress, a few of these include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Frequent infections due to weakened immune system
  • High blood pressure

It is vital in breaking the stress, illness spiral to find coping strategies which you can take with you throughout your life. Managing stress is an ongoing process which depending on different things such as:

  • Your lifestyle, 
  • Your personality,
  • Your own abilities to naturally cope I.e. previously learned coping techniques, 
  • External situations

will require you to be prepared and ready to cope with stress when it arises.

Visiting The Doctor and Anxiety Treatments

When symptoms of stress become extreme , finding some stress relief to enable you to cope temporaily often means a trip to the doctors and perhaps the prescription of medication.

Understanding the different drug treatments available will help you to descide whether or not medication is right for you.

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