Signs of Stress

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"Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress; 75 to 90 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints; stress is linked to the six leading causes of death--heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide." (Miller, 1993, p.12) "Stress plays havoc with our health, our productivity, our pocketbooks, and our lives, but it is necessary, even desirable." (Oxford, 1998, p.29)
In researching stress, one would learn about what stress is, the early warning signs of stress, the different types of stress, and how to build resistance to it.

Stress is a combination of physical, mental, and emotional feelings that result from pressure, worry, and anxiety. These pressures are called stressors. Some examples of common stressors are; divorce, death in the family, job change, pregnancy, a large mortgage, marriage, and retirement. "In medicine, stress is, a physical, chemical, or emotional development that causes strains that can lead to physical illness." (Microsoft Encarta)

The early warning signs of stress include apathy, anxiety, irritability, mental fatigue, and overcompensation or denial.
Some signs of apathy are feelings of sadness or recreation that isn’t fun any more. Feelings of restlessness, agitation, insecurity and a sense of worthlessness are examples of anxiety. Signs of irritability are feeling hypersensitive, defensive, and arrogant. Feeling argumentative, rebellious, or angry are also signs of irritability. Examples of mental fatigue are feeling preoccupied, having difficulty concentrating, and trouble thinking flexibly. Working too hard, denying that there are problems, ignoring symptoms, and feeling suspicious are all signs of overcompensation or denial. Some behavioral signs of stress are avoiding things, doing things to extremes, administrative problems, and legal problems. Avoiding things includes keeping to one’s self, avoiding work, having trouble accepting responsibility, and neglecting responsibility. Examples of doing things to extremes are alcoholism, gambling, spending sprees, and sexual promiscuity. Some administrative problems are being late to work, poor appearance, poor personal hygiene, and being accident prone. Possible legal problems are indebtedness, shoplifting, traffic tickets, and an inability to control violent impulses.

Some physical signs of stress include excessive worrying about illness, frequent illness, and physical exhaustion.
Reliance on medication including remedies like aspirin is a physical sign of stress. Ailments such as insomnia, appetite changes, and weight gain or loss are also physical signs of stress. Indigestion, nausea, and nervous diarrhea, are also physical signs, as well as, constipation, and sexual problems. Stress can be confusing. There are some myths surrounding stress. Here are a few of them. One myth is that stress is the same for everybody. This is not true. What is stressful for one person, may or may not be stressful for another; each person responds to stress in a different way.
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