Signs And Symptoms Of Stress Overload
The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You dont notice how much its affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll. Thats why its important to be aware of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress overload.
- Other mental or emotional health problems
- Chest pain, rapid heart rate
- Loss of sex drive
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from others
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits
Am I Anxious Or Am I Just Stressed Out
You’ve noticed a pattern. You lie awake at night, your brain defying your will to sleep. Worried thoughts parade through your mind instead of sheep. You wake up tired and wishing you could just stay home. You love your friends but keep ending up alone. During your morning drive, you think about what could go wrong that day and say, “I knew it!” when things don’t go your way.
You read articles on the internet. You look up your symptoms and cringe. You finally experience some relief when one diagnosis matches your symptoms better than anything else: anxiety. But what does it mean to have anxiety? Does it mean you have a disorder? Does it mean you need medication?
You might, but you also might just be having a natural reaction to stressful circumstances. Anxiety is a normal human experience, and we’re living in anxious and uncertain times. Just because you’re feeling anxious doesn’t mean you have a disorder or need medication. But if you do, finding out is good news. It is possible to fully recover from anxiety with the right care.
How can you tell when you need treatment for anxiety? We’re here to help. Read on to learn more about the difference between everyday anxiety and clinical anxiety.
Anxiety Is Not Uncommon
Anxiety is scary. It gnaws at you wherever you go, sapping the joy out of life. You could be safe at home with your family and still feel it a constant worry buzzing in the back of your mind that can grow into panic. It can make your most important tasks feel impossible. Who can work, drive a car, or care for children when they can only focus on their intense feelings of fear? Its even worse when you have no idea why youre anxious. If you cant understand it, how can you explain it to your family, friends, or co-workers? Anxiety can make you feel isolated, and no one should have to go through a scary time alone.
If youre experiencing anxiety, youve got company. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in our country, afflicting about 40 million adults a year. And although effective treatment is available, only 36.9% of sufferers are treated. People may feel embarrassed about admitting that theyre anxious. They may be dismissive of their anxiety. Or, they may not be aware that frequent anxiety is a mental health problem. But awareness of your anxiety is the first step in getting treatment for itand in understanding its causes.
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You Think Youre Not Good Enough
Everyone appreciates your qualities.
Everyone but you.
Youd like to be BETTER than what you are, so you invest in self-improvement programs and you waste your time running after an optimized version of you.
Since you dont appreciate yourself, you dont relax and enjoy the present. Theres a gap between who you are and who you want to be.The bigger the gap, the stronger the tension.
Solution: You are good enough, its a fact, make it your motto and work hard to find out WHY you are good as you are. Just focus on the qualities you already have. You can always improve, of course, but make sure you dont do it for lack of self-esteem.
Am I Stressed Or Anxious Helping You Delve Into The Difference
Last decade there were a flurry of articles and books published about stress and the benefits of short term stress. They said that short term challenging goals, when accomplished, are positive for our sense of accomplishment, feeling fulfilment along with other psychological and physiological benefits. According to the website hormone.org cortisol, the stress hormone, helps to
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Stop Comparing Yourself Especially Online
Social media is saturated with pictures of trips, cars, and other clear indicators of wealth. No matter how accurate your perception of your friends or social media influencers wealth actually is, comparing yourself and your finances to others adds to your overall stress level. Trying to measure up often makes you feel like you arent where you should be or like your efforts to save money arent enough.
The next time you find yourself falling into the trap of comparison, remember:
If all else fails and you still cant stop yourself from feeling stressed and depressed because your friend just went to Hawaii, it might be time to put your social media accounts on hold until you can gain control of your feelings.
Are There Different Types Of Triggers
There are different types of triggers. Or, in a way, different types of shaking. Yet all of them may be due to anxiety. Shaking may be caused by:
There are physical causes of shaking, but these tend to be less common. Also, during periods of stress, the body may deplete important resources, like water or magnesium. Sometimes the body shakes as a result of this nutrient loss. Only a doctor can confirm that you are feeling shaky because of anxiety and not because of some health problem.
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Reasons Why You Could Be Stressed About Nothing
The first three points are likely causing you to feel overwhelmed at times . The latter two are the probable results and are signs that the demands on you outstrip your resources.
And, lets face it, on top of everything else that could befall you in life, youre probably now also have to cope with the fall-out from the pandemic. Covid lockdowns, quarantines and/or closures with all their financial, social consequences are, of course, super-stressful with an inevitable impact on our mental health.
Then there are the less obvious things that contribute to you feeling stressed for no reason.
Feeling Overwhelmed From Anxiety: Mentally
Of course, when most people talk about feeling overwhelmed, they’re talking about the way anxiety tends to cause severe stress that affects all of their thoughts. That’s what anxiety does: it makes it very hard to focus on anything other than your anxiety, and the more you focus on that anxiety, the more anxiety you seem to feel.
People talk about anxiety as if it makes it difficult to focus. But that’s not entirely true. Anxiety often makes it easy to focus, but only on your anxiety. Some people experience such a feeling of emotional distress that they may start to cry or feel like they’re about to cry, while others may experience a complete lack of hope as if their anxiety is never going to be treatable.
Those with panic attacks may have other symptoms as well. During panic attacks, that feeling of being overwhelmed may actually be less about the actual overwhelming nature of anxiety and more about a feeling of doom that seems to affect those that are struggling with the attack. This feeling of doom can make you feel like you’re about to suffer from something terrible, and it can cause your entire body to become completely on edge.
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How To Cope With Stress Podcast With Dr Rangan Chatterjee
Struggling with stress? We caught up with Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the In The Moment Magazine podcast to find out how to cope with stress and live calmer lives.
Looking for more wellbeing advice? Learn how to cope with depressing news, explore mindful ways for coping with change, or begin a new mindful habit with our pick of the best mindfulness journals.
Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
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How Do I Know When My Anxiety Needs Treatment
Any time a mental health issue such as anxiety gets so far out of hand that it disrupts your daily life, its time to get help. Especially if one or more symptoms cause you a lot of distress and worry, you should seek treatment before your symptoms get worse.
Most mental health disorders exist on a spectrum. For some people, symptoms are less severe and respond well to outpatient treatment. But for many others, its going to take intensive treatment to make headways into recovery. Particularly if youve tried outpatient therapy and it hasnt worked, residential treatment could be your best option.
But how do you know when your anxiety is severe and lasting enough to qualify as an actual disorder? Its impossible to pinpoint without a clinician, but you can learn to spot the same signs a clinician would look for.
What Is Acute Stress Disorder
Acute stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that may occur within one month after experiencing a traumatic event. ASD can last anywhere between 3 days and 1 month. It differs from posttraumatic-stress disorder (PTSD, but causes symptoms also seen in people with PTSD, such as dissociative symptoms, reexperiencing the traumatic events, and avoidance.
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Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.
A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
Is It Anxiety Or Depression
If you often feel anxious or depressed for no apparent reason, you may have an anxiety disorder, depression, or both. Its not unusual for someone to suffer from both conditions at the same time. In fact, just about half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Depression and anxiety are serious but treatable illnesses. The same medications may be used to ease symptoms of each condition. The two also share similar symptoms, like nervousness, irritability, insomnia and problems concentrating, but each has its own causes.
Anxiety: If you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience:
- Fear, panic or anxiety in situations where most people would not feel anxious or threatened
- A constant nagging worry or anxiousness
- Sudden panic or anxiety attacks without any clear trigger
Untreated, these disorders can limit your ability to work, maintain relationships or even leave the house.
Depression: When youre depressed, it affects just about everything in your life how you think, feel, behave and function. You may experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Lack of motivation or interest in life in general
- Low energy level
- Feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks and personal interactions
If these feelings last longer than two weeks, and interfere with daily activities like spending time with friends, caring for your family or going to work, most likely youre experiencing a major depressive episode.
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When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Stress
Talk to your doctor about stress if you are feeling overwhelmed, are reliant on drugs or alcohol to cope with the feelings of stress, have thoughts of hurting yourself, or are experiencing other related conditions, like anxiety or depression. Your doctor can provide advice for better managing your stress, prescribe medication, or refer you to a mental health professional for further diagnosis and treatment.
The National Institute of Mental Health . 5 Things You Should Know About Stress. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/. Accessed July 15, 2021.
Child Mind Disorder. Acute Stress Disorder Basics. Accessed 4/11/2021.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, National Center for PTSD. Acute Stress Disorder. Accessed 4/11/2021.
What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
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What Causes High Stress Levels
Anything that puts high demands or pressure on you can result in high stress levels, especially if you struggle to manage feelings of stress. Some common stressors that can lead to high levels of stress include high-pressure jobs, financial difficulties, taking on too much, conflicts at work or home, and failure to take time to relax.
How Can Your Doctor Test Your Stress Level
There is no standardized test to formally diagnose stress because stress is subjectivewhat feels very stressful for one person may not cause high levels of stress for another. Only the person experiencing stress can determine how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
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How To Help Yourself
Theres no quick fix for this complex mix of forces that are contributing to people feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, say Napper and Rao. People are trying to make their lives better, but theres no templatewe havent done this before.
But if youre feeling stress and anxiety, there are simple ways to start reclaiming agency in your life. Consider doing one or two of the following, starting today:
These kinds of small actions can have a big impact over time. As you find more mental space and clarity, you’ll be in a better position to design your life in a way that supports your well-being.
The full conversation with Paul Napper and Anthony Rao is available here.
Facebook/LinkedIn image: kittirat roekburi/Shutterstock
American Psychological Association . Stress in America: Stress and Current Events. Stress in America Survey
Duffy, M. E., Twenge, J. M., & Joiner, T. E. . Trends in mood and anxiety symptoms and suicide-related outcomes among US undergraduates, 20072018: Evidence from two national surveys. Journal of Adolescent Health, 65, 590-598.
How Does Stress Work
In prehistoric times, stress was a natural response to a threat, like hearing a predator in the bushes. Today, it still prompts a behavioral response, firing up your limbic system and releasing adrenaline and cortisol, which help activate your brain and body to deal with the threat, Dr. Greenberg explained. Symptoms of stress include a rapid heart rate, clammy palms and shallow breath. Stress might feel good at first, as the adrenaline and cortisol flood your body, Dr. Marques said. You might have experienced the benefits of stress as you raced through traffic to get to an appointment, or pulled together an important assignment in the final hour. Thats called acute stress, and the rush wore off when the situation was resolved .
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is when your body stays in this fight-or-flight mode continuously . Chronic stress is linked to health concerns such as digestive issues, an increased risk of heart disease and a weakening of the immune system.
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Too Worried Stressed Or Anxious To Read The Whole Article
Heres the takeaway: Worry happens in your mind, stress happens in your body, and anxiety happens in your mind and your body. In small doses, worry, stress and anxiety can be positive forces in our lives. But research shows that most of us are too worried, too stressed and too anxious. The good news, according to Dr. Marques, is that there are simple first steps to help regulate your symptoms: Get enough sleep eat regular, nutritious meals and move your body.
Stress Is Not Anxiety Or Depression
Stress is not the same as anxiety or depression but for some people, being stressed for a long time can lead to anxiety or depression, and it can affect a persons physical health, particularly cardiovascular health.
When we talk about being stressed, it usually means were upset or tense about something thats happening in our lives. Stress is a normal part of daily life. Its a natural physical and mental response that is designed to help people cope effectively with emergencies.
Some stress can be a good thing. It can help us get motivated to get things done, but health problems from stress happen when it is regular and doesnt let up.
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