Stress symptoms can be tricky; they can manifest in both the physical and psychological realm, so it’s essential to be aware of them, to identify when you’re feeling stressed and take steps to manage your stress effectively.
What is Stress?
Stress is a response to a real or perceived threat. It’s the body’s way of preparing to face a challenge. The stress response is also known as the “fight-or-flight response”. When you perceive a threat, your nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tense, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed up your reaction time, and enhance your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee the perceived danger.
Acute stress is the stress we feel in response to a specific event, such as an upcoming presentation or a difficult conversation. It’s transitory and usually goes away once the event has passed.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is ongoing and can be caused by factors like job insecurity, financial problems, or relationship difficulties.
While a certain amount of stress is necessary for survival, chronic stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones can impact your physical health by weakening your immune system, increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke, and contributing to anxiety and depression.
How stress can make you feel?
Stress can manifest in both physical and psychological ways, causing you significant health problems. So, it’s important to be aware of both the physical and psychological symptoms of stress to identify when you’re feeling stressed and take steps to manage your stress effectively. These effects might include the following;
Changes to the menstrual cycle
High blood pressure
Poor decision making
Causes for stress
Many different factors can contribute to stress. Some common stressors include:
Eating a healthy diet: A balanced diet improves your immune system and can give you extra energy so you’ll be able to cope with stressful events.
Getting enough sleep: A good night’s sleep makes you less stressed during the day.
Emotional support: Having supportive friends and family can reduce stress a lot.
Seeking professional help: Talking to a professional can help you deal with stress and learn to understand yourself better.
If you’re experiencing any of these stress symptoms, it’s important to take steps to manage stress effectively. So, if you’re struggling to manage your stress on your own, contact us at (02) 9358 5221, make an appointment and get a proper consultation from our expert doctor.
Sleep deprivation and stress: a reciprocal relationship https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0092
Stress Can Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2171
Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4263906/
It’s easy to overlook the signs that you may need help with depression and anxiety because they aren’t always obvious. Subtle changes in behaviour or mood are often attributed to a life phase, such as menopause, a busy schedule, or a hectic life raising a family. But depression and anxiety do not need to be a routine part of your daily life.
What Are the Signs of Anxiety and Depression?
Anxiety and depression are often co-occurring. You are more likely to become depressed if you already have an anxiety disorder, and people who are depressed often feel anxious.
While occasional anxiety is a normal part of everyday life, such as a problem at work, some people experience debilitating feelings, like panic attacks that interfere with their daily routine.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Apathy & Difficulty Experiencing Joy
If you’ve lost interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you joy or lack the motivation to do everyday things, you may be experiencing apathy. While apathy can be challenging to diagnose, if you depend on others to plan your activities or feel no emotion when good or bad things happen, you may have this textbook symptom of depression.
Although everyone loses interest in things from time to time, persistent apathy can affect your relationships and professional and social life and is a sign that you need to seek mental health treatment.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Oversleeping or Insomnia
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or find that sleep evades you each night, depression or anxiety may disrupt your brain’s natural circadian rhythm.
Hypersomnia and insomnia can be caused by irregularities in your brain’s serotonin production, commonly associated with anxiety and depression. Individuals suffering from depression may exclusively suffer from one or the other of these conditions, or they may switch between them.
Having a compromised sleep schedule makes the rest of your life more challenging. Everything from arriving at your job on time to running errands becomes impacted by your low energy.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Constant Worry & Difficulty Focusing
Some people are born worriers and may even have inherited the characteristic. It is natural to experience periods of worry throughout your life, usually connected to a specific event such as finances, work, or personal relationships.
However, excessive worrying about events or everyday situations that bring on panic attacks, a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and sweaty palms can make it difficult to focus and accomplish daily tasks.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Mood Swings & Low Mood
A ‘mood swing’ is a term used to describe the rapid fluctuation between two or more emotional states. There are stages of development, such as puberty or menopause, where mood swings and low moods are considered normal, but they should not persist beyond these periods.
Researchers suggest that neurochemical pathways for pain and mood regulation may be linked. This may cause people with depressive symptoms to experience higher pain intensity and people with chronic pain to experience depression.
Another physical symptom of depression that typically doesn’t respond to treatment is brain fog. Brain fog is characterised by confusion, a lack of focus, and memory issues.
Depression can cause a disruption of neural networks in critical brain regions such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia. This disruption can lead to neurotransmitter dysregulation, which causes cognitive dysfunction such as brain fog.
Contact Us to Begin Your Journey to a More Fulfilling Life
True Health Medical provides integrated care to address depression and anxiety simultaneously. At True Health Medical, we create a safe environment for you to discuss your mental health and provide an initial assessment, medical treatment and psychological therapy.