What is stress? Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment And Diagnosis.

Commonly, we consider stress excessive mental or emotional pressure and can affect how you feel, think, behave, and work because your mind and your body constantly interact.

Exposure to stressful situations is one of the most common human experiences; these situations can range from everyday annoyances to unexpected events such as illnesses, losses, natural disasters, and the dramatic effects caused by war-torn environments with uncertainty and armed conflicts always present.

What is stress?

It can be defined as the inability to cope with a perceived threat (real or imagined) to one’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, resulting in physiological responses and adaptations. We all have our ways of coping with change, so the causes of stress can be different for each person.

In simple terms, it is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and have difficulty coping with demands, which can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that represents a challenge or a real or perceived threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.

It can be a motivator and is essential for survival because the “fight or flight” mechanism can tell us when and how to respond to danger. However, if this mechanism is triggered too quickly or when too many stressors are at once, it can undermine a person’s mental and physical health and become harmful.

Types of stress

Acute stress

It is the most common type, it is your body’s immediate reaction to a new challenge, event, or demand, and it triggers your fight or flight response. This short term is often caused by thinking about the pressures of events that have occurred recently or upcoming lawsuits shortly.

For example, if you’ve recently been involved in an argument that upset you or have an upcoming deadline, you may be feeling stressed by these triggers. However, they will be reduced or removed once they are resolved. Short-term effects include tension headaches and an upset stomach, and a moderate amount of distress. Read more about acute stress. (Required item)

Acute episodic stress

It is called episodic acute stress; people who always seem to have a crisis tend to have it. They are often moody, irritable and anxious, or pessimistic, and they tend to see the negative side of everything.

The adverse health effects are persistent in people with acute episodic stress; it can be challenging to change their lifestyle as they accept it as part of life. Complete content on acute episodes of anxiety. (Required item)

Chronic stress

This is the most damaging type and fades over a long period.

Ongoing poverty, a dysfunctional family, or an unhappy marriage can cause chronic stress when a person never sees an escape from the cause and stops looking for solutions. Sometimes it can be caused by a traumatic experience early in life.

Chronic stress can go unnoticed as people get used to it; unlike acute stress, which is new and often has an immediate solution, it can become part of an individual’s personality, making them constantly prone to anxiety. Pressure, regardless of the scenarios that come your way.

People are likely to have a final breakdown that can lead to suicide, violent actions, heart attacks, and strokes. More information on chronic stress. (Required item)

Causes of stress

We all react differently to stressful situations; what is stressful for one person may not be stressful for another; almost anything can cause stress. Just thinking about something or several small things can cause it for some people.

Major life events that can trigger it include:

  • Work or retirement problems.
  • Lack of time or money.
  • Mourn.
  • Family problems.
  • Disease.
  • Move to another house.
  • Relationships, marriage, and divorce.

Other commonly reported causes are:

  • Abortion or miscarriage.
  • Driving in heavy traffic or fear of an accident.
  • Fear of crime or problems with neighbors.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Excessive noise, overcrowding, and pollution.
  • Uncertainty or waiting for a significant result.

Sometimes there is no identifiable cause. Mental health problems, such as depression or a pent-up sense of frustration and anxiety , can make some people feel stressed more quickly than others.

Some people experience ongoing stress after a traumatic event, such as an accident or some abuse; this is known as a post-traumatic stress disorder; those who have stressful jobs, such as the military or emergency services, will have an information session.

Stress management

Treatment includes self-help and, in cases where an underlying condition causes it. Therapies that can help induce relaxation include aromatherapy or reflexology.

Some insurance providers cover this type of treatment but are sure to check before proceeding with this treatment.


Doctors generally do not prescribe medication unless the patient has an underlying illness, such as depression or a type of anxiety . In that case, the doctor is treating a mental illness and not stress.

In such cases, an antidepressant may be prescribed. However, there is a risk that the drug is only masking the stress rather than helping you cope and cope with it. Antidepressants can also have adverse effects.

They are developing some coping strategies before stresses can help an individual handle new situations and maintain physical and mental health.

Tips for managing stress

Here are some lifestyle choices you can make to control or avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  • Exercise:  Studies have shown that exercise can benefit a person’s mental and physical state.
  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol, drugs, and caffeine: These substances will not help prevent stress and can make it worse; they must be reduced.
  • Nutrition:  A healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps support the immune system in times of stress. A poor diet will lead to poor health and additional stress.
  • Prioritize: Spend a little time organizing your to-do list to see what’s most important. Then focus on what you have completed or accomplished for the day rather than what has yet to be finished.
  • Time: Spend some time each day just for yourself; use it to organize your life, relax and pursue your interests.
  • Breathing and relaxation:  Meditation, massage, and yoga can help, and breathing and relaxation techniques can slow down the system and help you relax.
  • Talking with your family, friends, co-workers, and your boss about your thoughts and concerns will help you “vent”; you may feel comforted to discover that you are “not the only one,” you may even find that there is an easy solution in the process. that I hadn’t thought of.

Management techniques

Stress management can help:

  • Eliminate or change the source of stress.
  • Altering the way you view a stressful event.
  • Decrease the impact stress can have on your body.
  • Learn alternative ways of coping.

Stress management therapy pursues one or more of these approaches.

Techniques for managing stress can be obtained from self-help books, online resources, or attending a stress management course. A counselor or psychotherapist can connect a person experiencing stress with personal development courses or individual and group therapy sessions.

Frequent questions

  • Why do people develop stress?

Society has changed a lot in recent decades, most notable due to the explosion of technology; not only is information available at your fingertips through the Internet, but communication has become instantaneous (for example, telephones, cell phones, emails, instant messages). Transportation has vastly improved and become more accessible; all of these factors have made our lives easier and have subsequently created more significant pressures and restrictions on us.

Expectations are higher, ambitions are higher, and there is pressure to perform in all aspects of life.

  • Why do children feel stressed?

The number of children with psychological and emotional problems has grown dramatically in recent years; it is believed that the first experiences affect the level of response of the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, young children exposed to chronic stress may become too used to dealing with fear states and become conditioned to have or tolerate higher levels of adrenaline.

Consequently, adults can quickly become ‘hot reactors,’ triggering the fight or flight reaction. In extreme cases, it can even suppress the secretion of normal growth hormones in children, delaying growth.

  • What can be done to manage stress?

It can be controlled by maintaining a healthy body (for example, through exercise, diet, sleep hygiene, avoiding stimulants, and correcting posture), healthy relationships (for example, social interaction, spending time with yourself and others, sharing feelings, and communicating, accept, be assertive and learn to say no) learn management skills (e.g., analyze, prioritize, delegate, manage time).

Relaxation techniques can also be used to control adverse effects; this could be meditation, prayer, deep breathing, massage, reading, taking a hot bath, or doing a hobby you enjoy.

  • Is stress a mental health problem?

Being under pressure is a normal part of life; it can help you take action, feel more energetic, and get results, but if you are often overwhelmed by stress, these feelings could start to be a problem for you.

Stress is not a psychiatric diagnosis, but it is closely related to your mental health in two important ways:

It can cause mental health problems and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to control feelings of stress, you may develop a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.

Mental health problems can cause stress. You may be faced with the typical symptoms of your mental health problem, as well as the need for medication, health care appointments, or treatments, which can become additional sources.

  • Why does stress affect me physically?

You may find that your first clues about being stressed are physical signs, such as tiredness, headaches, or an upset stomach; there can be many reasons for this, as when we feel stressed, we often find it difficult to sleep or eat well, and the lousy Eating and lack of sleep can affect our physical health. This, in turn, can make us feel more emotionally stressed.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.