Stress: Causes, Symptoms and Support

causes and help for chronic stress

What are the causes of stress and what help is out there?

With so many pressures in today’s bustling and fast-paced society, both your mind and body can take the brunt of it all.

Many of us complain about being stressed, but what really is stress, what are the symptoms of stress and what can be done to help? We have all the answers.

What is stress?

Stress is the way your body responds to either real or hypothetical demands, chaos or threats. 

The body reacts to stress in a ‘fight-or-flight’ way, and is its way of protecting you. Stress can work effectively in that it can increase productivity, energy and focus.

However many people suffer from large bouts of stress and can end up feeling overwhelmed – this is usually termed as chronic stress.

What are the symptoms of chronic stress?

The symptoms of chronic stress include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Physical pain of any kind
  • Insomnia
  • IBS or digestive problems
  • Skin conditions: spotting, eczema etc.
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Thinking and memory issues

If you are suffering from chronic stress, you will be less able to concentrate, you will focus on the negative and you will be constantly worrying or anxious about everything, not just the thing that caused your stress in the beginning.

You will also experience physical symptoms such as aches, constipation or stomach pains, nausea, rapid heart rate, reduced sex drive and compromised immune system.

What causes stress?

Any number of things can cause stress – this can be anything from personal life, to marriage, to a new job. Stress and its causes varies significantly between individuals.

The personal need to commit and stick to things can also cause stress. Read more here. 

Grief and loss can also be a large contributor to stress as you experience all kinds of complex emotions as you move through the stages of grief.

Many of those suffering from stress tend to try and combat the issues they are facing with either drugs or alcohol. Alcohol or drugs can seem to provide some temporary relief to the stress that an individual is feeling.

However, as stressful events continue in the long-term, this may lead to heavy alcohol or drug consumption, which in turn can lead to addiction.

What help is out there?

If you are suffering from stress or addiction, there is so much help and support out there.

There are a number of mental health charities, such as MIND, Anxiety UK, CALM, and the Mental Health Foundation.

If you are suffering from stress-induced alcohol or drug addiction, then residential addiction rehab is the most effective way of regaining control of your life. More here.

 

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