Chronic Stress Symptoms

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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We all go through bad patches. It might be problems at work or at home, and some problems can be very difficult – even impossible – to solve. In a lot of cases it is a case of getting our heads down and getting through it, hopefully coming out OK at the other end.

This is often very difficult to do, however, and some people will experience chronic stress as a result. It is a potentially very serious condition and anybody suffering from chronic stress should speak with a professional. There are a few signs to look out for that somebody is suffering from chronic stress.

1. Acne

Acne is a common condition that tends to affect adolescents but can affect people of all ages. There are various causes of it, ranging from abnormal hormone levels, excess oil production, bacterial infections, and blocked pores. Products are available that will often help to at least reduce the symptoms.

Studies have shown that people undergoing stress are more likely to develop acne. One potential reason for this is that people are more likely to touch their face when they are stressed. It could also be down to hormonal imbalances, such as a sustained increase in the levels of cortisol in the body.

Chronic Stress

2. Pain

Pain is unpleasant, but it is also thankfully something that most of us won’t have to endure on a regular basis. It is usually only when we are injured or sick that there’s a problem, but we can also sometimes experience aches and pains for no apparent reason. Some people might experience pain if they also suffer from chronic stress.

Studies have been undertaken that show an apparent link between stress and pain. The link appears to be between pain and high levels of cortisol specifically. It is not clear why this is, and the research was not conclusive, but still there does appear to be a connection between the two.

3. Headaches

It is quite well known that stressful situations can cause a headache, and it is a fairly common occurrence. Many people will find themselves reaching for the paracetamol or other pain killers if they have a bad day at work, or a problem at home.

These occur because stress is a condition that causes the brain to go into overdrive to help the patient deal with immediate situations. Certain chemicals are released that can have an effect on the blood vessels in the brain, potentially causing pain. As mentioned, painkillers can help in the short term, but long-term stress should encourage you to speak with a medical professional.

Chronic Stress

4. Low Energy

It will take some of us a few minutes to fully wake up in the morning but, once we have woken properly, then we are usually ready for the day ahead. If we are not at full health, however, then we are unlikely to be feeling brimming with energy.

Many people suffering from chronic stress will also complain that they are feeling lethargic and fatigued. They will be lacking the energy to get involved while their mood overall is also likely to hold them back from taking part. Stress is also likely to lead to some sleepless nights, and this will only deplete the patient’s energy levels further.

5. Digestive Issues

There is a much closer link with the health of our digestive systems and our overall health than a lot of people realize; and this includes our mental health. For some people, periods of stress are also likely to be accompanied by problems with their digestive system.

The presence of certain hormones in higher than usual numbers can irritate the bowels, leading to a range of unwelcome symptoms for the patient. People with pre-existing digestive system issues, such as IBS, are also likely to find their condition worsens when they are stressed. Bear in mind that the irritation might be being caused by something else, like any medication you are using at the time.

Chronic Stress

6. Appetite Changes

A lot of people will turn to comfort food when stressed to make themselves feel better. This often means turning to junk food packed full of calories and unhealthy ingredients. As a result, people that are stressed will often find themselves piling on the pounds. They might also stop taking part in physical activities that would have helped to keep them in shape.

While some people might start eating more, others might begin eating less, and this can lead to the patient losing weight. Changes in appetite can also have an effect on the patient’s immune system, potentially allowing other problems to develop.

7. Frequently Ill

Our mental well being has a considerable impact on our overall health, including the health of our immune systems. With a weakened immune system, we are more likely to fall ill, meaning that people with chronic stress are likely to fall ill more frequently than others.

Studies have shown that stressed people are more likely to catch diseases like the flu. In addition to being more likely to catch a disease, people with stress are also more likely to suffer worse symptoms, and for longer. Bear in mind also that stress can lead to a loss in appetite, and not eating enough can also impact the immune system.

Chronic Stress

8. Rapid Heartbeat

Stress is actually an important evolutionary development in that it helps us to be fully alert when faced with a serious problem. Part of the process is to have lots of blood flowing around the body to make sure there’s a plentiful supply of oxygen and everything else that is needed.

While this is perfectly normal, the patient should calm down, and their heartbeat slow, once the situation has passed. If the heartbeat does remain too fast for too long then it is a sign that the patient needs medical assistance. It is a symptom that can lead to heart disease and other potentially serious problems.

9. Libido Changes

Sex is very important for us, especially for couples as it helps to maintain strong bonds. It is also quite normal for adults to maintain a fairly strong libido, although this will vary from one person to another. There are things that can have an impact on our libido, and chronic stress is one of them.

Sex can also help to relieve stress so, if your libido is low due to stress, then you might also not be taking up opportunities to relieve some of that stress. Regardless, a change in your sex drive is often down to an underlying health condition, so it can be a good idea to get it checked out.

10. Depression

We have all felt down from time to time, and it can be difficult to see at times how we can push on. This does not usually last for too long, however, and most people are able to put the bad times behind them eventually. Depression, however, is a very different thing to just going through a bad patch.

A lot of people that suffer from chronic stress are also likely to develop depression at some point. Patients with depression will often feel down and will often feel empty. Many will end up taking their own lives as a result of the condition. This is a very serious condition and one which should be treated as soon as a problem is recognized.

Chronic Stress

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