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Stress

Also called: Psychological stress

Summary

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, and it can be life-saving. But chronic stress can cause both physical and mental harm.

There are at least three different types of stress:

  • Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family, and other daily responsibilities
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness
  • Traumatic stress, which happens when you are in danger of being seriously hurt or killed. Examples include a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster. This type of stress can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some people experience digestive symptoms. Others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger, and irritability. People under chronic stress get more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold. Vaccines, such as the flu shot, are less effective for them.

Some people cope with stress more effectively than others. It's important to know your limits when it comes to stress, so you can avoid more serious health effects.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • (American Psychological Association) Also in
  • Easy-to-Read (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Heart Association)

Symptoms

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Psychological Association)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Living With

  • (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in
  • (Mental Health America)
  • (American Psychological Association) Also in
  • (American Psychological Association) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Psychological Association) Also in
  • (American Psychological Association) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (American Migraine Foundation)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Psychological Association)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Psychological Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
  • From the National Institutes of Health
  • (American Psychological Association)

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Psychological Association)
  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Women

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

Patient Handouts

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