Also known as: Anxiety, Feeling uptight, Stress, Tension, Jitters or Apprehension
- A faster heart rate
- Skipped heartbeats
- Rapid breathing
- Loose stools
- Frequent need to pee
- Dry mouth
- Problems swallowing
- Starting a new job or school
- Moving to a new home
- Getting married
- Having a child
- Breaking up with someone
- Some inhaler medicines used to treat asthma
- Thyroid drugs
- Some diet pills
- Some cold remedies
- You have feelings of panic, such as dizziness, rapid breathing, or a racing heartbeat.
- You are unable to work or function at home or at your job.
- You have fears that you cannot control.
- You are having memories of a traumatic event.
Stress can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, unease, and worry. The source of these symptoms is not always known.
Stress is a normal feeling. In small doses, stress can help you get things done. Stress does not affect everyone the same way.
Many people feel stress symptoms in their body. You may be having pain in your abdomen, headaches, and muscle tightness or pain.
When you are very stressed, you may notice:
Other symptoms include:
You may have a harder time focusing, feel tired most of the time, or lose your temper more often. Stress may also cause sexual problems. It can also cause problems with falling or staying asleep and nightmares.Which of the following situations cause stress?The correct answer is all of the above. Any major change can cause stress, even good change. Changing how you react to stress and doing relaxation exercises can help. Stress produces the following changes in the body:The correct answer is all of the above. Stress causes changes in the body that can make it harder for your body to fight disease. Talk to your doctor about how you can better control your body’s natural response to stress. Ongoing stress can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.The correct answer is true. Some stress is healthy, but excessive stress can cause health problems, or make them worse. Talk to your doctor if you think some of your symptoms are related to stress. Which of the following are symptoms of stress?The correct answer is all of the above. Stress doesn’t always produce clear symptoms. Even minor symptoms, such as upset stomach, stiff neck, or hiccups can be related to stress. If you notice symptoms of stress, take time to relax every day.Children rarely feel stress.The correct answer is false. Children often feel stress because they can't communicate their feelings. Physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, can be a sign of stress in a child. If you are a parent, try to lower your own stress level. When you are stressed, it can cause stress in your child.Some studies show that job stress may be as bad for your health as smoking or not exercising.The correct answer is true. Stress makes it hard to concentrate, causes sleeplessness, and increases the risk for illness, back problems, accidents, and lost time from work. Think about ways to take stress out of your work life. Take time to go for a walk during lunch, or find other ways to relax during the work day. Which of the following activities can help you feel less stress?The correct answer is all of the above. Spending time with friends, going for a run, playing with your dog, or doing deep breathing can lower your stress level. Try different ways to relieve stress and see what works best for you.Over-the-counter medicines can relieve stress.The correct answer is false. Medicine can’t make stress go away, but it can help you manage stress symptoms. Pain relievers can help ease tension headaches, and antacids and laxatives help an upset stomach. A better idea is to learn healthy ways to deal with stress. If you can't manage stress on your own, talk with a therapist.Which of the following activities can help you ward off the effects of stress?The correct answer is all of the above. All of these activities improve your health and help you deal with stress. To make stress easier to handle, eat a balanced healthy diet, exercise daily, and express your feelings to friends, loved ones, a therapist, or in a journal. Which of the following help you learn to relax?The correct answer is all of the above. There are many different relaxation techniques that can help you deal with stress. Talk to your doctor about what type of relaxation therapy is right for you.Living a stressful life is unavoidable.The correct answer is false. Most people feel stress, but you can learn to manage it and even avoid it. Making healthy changes in your habits, learning to say no, setting priorities, and leading a healthful lifestyle are just a few ways you can combat stress. Talk with your health care provider about how to manage the stress in your life.
Many people have stress when they need to adapt or change.
An injury or illness to you, a friend, or a loved one is a common cause of stress. Feelings of stress and anxiety are common in people who feel depressed and sad.
When these feelings happen often, a person may have an anxiety disorder. Other problems where stress may be present are:
Some drugs may cause or worsen symptoms of stress.
These can include:
Caffeine, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco products may also cause or make symptoms of stress or anxiety worse.
What relieves stress is not the same for everyone. Making certain lifestyle changes is the best start.
Start with eating a well-balanced, healthy diet as well as getting enough sleep and exercise, Also, limit caffeine and alcohol intake and don't use nicotine, cocaine, or other street drugs.
Finding healthy, fun ways to cope with stress helps most people. You can learn and practice ways to help you relax. Find out about yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
Take breaks from work. Make sure to balance fun activities with your job and family duties. Schedule some leisure time every day. Spend time with people you enjoy, including your family.
Try learning to make things with your hands, playing an instrument, or listening to music.
Think about what might be giving you stress. Keep a diary of what is going on when you have these feelings.
Then, find someone you trust who will listen to you. Often just talking to a friend or loved one is all that you need to feel better. Most areas also have support groups and hotlines that can help.
Ask your health care provider if any drugs or medicines you are taking can cause anxiety.
Call your health care provider if
Call a suicide hotline if you have thoughts of suicide.
Reasons you may want to seek more help are:
Do not stop taking any prescribed medicines without talking to your doctor.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your doctor will want to know what medicines you are taking. Your doctor will also want to know if you use alcohol or drugs. You will have a physical exam and maybe some blood tests.
Your doctor may refer you to a mental health care provider. You can talk to them about your feelings, what seems to make your stress better or worse, and why you think you are having this problem.
Sometimes, medicines may help treat your symptoms.
Larzelere MM, Jones GN. Stress and health. Prim Care. 2008;35:839-856.
Ahmed SM, Lemkau JP, Hershberger PJ. Psychosocial influences on health. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.
- Review date:
- September 11, 2013
- Reviewed by:
- Timothy Rogge, MD, Medical Director, Family Medical Psychiatry Center, Kirkland, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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