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Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Tension, anxiety and stress are an increasingly common problem in everyday life. Stress manifests itself as social, physical or psychological dysfunction and will impact most individuals at some point in their lives.

Stress is your body’s way of responding to different demands or situation. When stress affects you, your body will release chemicals into the bloodstream. These chemicals generate strength and energy which can be positive in situations for example if you are in physical danger.

The chemical response can however negatively impact us for example in a situation where there is an emotional stress cause and no outlet for the added strength and energy.

People under large amounts of stress feel the effects on both body and mind. They can often feel tired, sick, unable to think clearly and even suffer mental breakdowns.

When you are stressed, you can feel overwhelmed, like you are losing control, burned out and incapable of focus.

Stress should not always be viewed as a negative experience. Stress is necessary for life and without it life would be dull.

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Woman looking stressed
Symptoms of stress in a man

Symptoms of Stress

Stress can manifest itself in a range of ways, which can affect your body, mind and even your behaviour.

Symptoms are not always obvious and many people suffering from stress related illness and symptoms may not even be aware stress is affecting them.

There are many different types of symptoms and a person may display some or none of the following:

Effects on the mind

  • Feeling sad and lonely
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability

Effects on the body

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upsets
  • Low levels of energy
  • Excessively sweating
  • Impotence

Effects on behaviour

  • Becoming easily agitated
  • Angry outbursts
  • Fluctuations in eating habits
  • Substance abuse
  • Being unable to relax or sleep
  • Avoiding other people
It's important that stress is diagnosed by a GP in order to prevent it from worsening and having the potential to cause other health problems and illnesses.

Unfortunately, there is no scientific medical testing to determine stress, however a GP can usually recognise the condition by discussing your symptoms. Talk to a Doctor About Stress

Treating Stress

There's no specific cure or treatment which immediately clears up stress, however, if you find it hard to cope and are experiencing symptoms of stress, there are various options available that could help alleviate the condition.

Counselling: This doesn’t have to be a professional therapist, you could speak to a friend or family member, but just simply discussing the problem can begin the process of relieving stress.

Cognitive behavioural therapy: A type of therapy that is carried out by a healthcare professional, which helps you understand/change how you think and identify positive actions you can take.

Eco-therapy: Spending time in nature and getting outdoors and having physical exercise can improve your wellbeing and self-esteem.

Medication: A GP may prescribe medication, especially If your stress is causing you other health problems. This type of treatment is generally short term and is not particularly a cure for stress.

Support groups: Classes and groups in your local area may give you opportunity to meet others who are suffering the same effects. This collaborative approach can help people to learn off one another and develop effective coping strategies.

If you're suffering from stress-related issues, don't go it alone. Our GPs will be able to talk through your symptoms and recommend a suitable course of action.

See a Doctor About Stress
Treating stress with yoga