Stress is a normal part of life. In small quantities, stress is good - it can motivate you and help you be more productive. However, too much stress, or a strong response to stress, is harmful. It can set you up for general poor health as well as specific physical or psychological illnesses like infection, heart disease, and depression. Persistent and unrelenting stress often leads to anxiety and unhealthy behaviors like overeating and abuse of alcohol or drugs.
But what is stress exactly? Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, fear, or excessive worry. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or recognized, which can add to the distress you feel.
Even though each of us may respond differently to particular life events, there are certain circumstances that are more likely to lead to stress. And, there are symptoms that you may experience indicating that you have a stress disorder.
|Reviewed By:||David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.|
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