By Donovan Baldwin
You would think that anyone knows when they are under stress, but that is not always so. The symptoms can sometimes be difficult to spot, particularly by the afflicted person. It’s a bit like being drunk. The drunker someone is, the more signs of drunkenness they may be exhibiting but because of their inebriated state, they are the ones least likely to pick up on the symptoms and react to them. Of course, each of us is different, and, just as some people seem able to handle their liquor pretty well, and/or know when they have reached their limit, some people can spot the signs telling them that trouble is brewing.
It can be important to pick up on these stress symptoms in yourself, or in others. If stress, particularly chronic stress, is allowed to continue unchecked, it can contribute to a wide range of physical ills or unhealthy conditions such as ulcers, insomnia, heart disease as well as relationship problems, just to name a few. Of course, any stress, chronic or acute (immediate) can interfere with judgment, concentration, and logical thought processes.
Stress symptoms can be broken down in a number of classifications, but for the purposes of this article, we will look at them from the viewpoint of physical, emotional, behavioral, and psychological symptoms. Keep in mind, of course, that sometimes it can be difficult to separate an emotional symptom from a psychological one and vice-versa, or a physical symptom from a psychological or emotional one, and one set of symptoms may create other problems and their own set of symptoms. Also, simply treating the symptom is seldom likely to have any great effect on the root cause of the problem although it might provide a temporary respite during which permanent changes can be worked on.
Physical Stress Symptoms: These consist of outward manifestations of inward stress and include such things as poor concentration, fatigue, skin problems, headache, insomnia or sleeplessness, sweaty palms, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, stomach and digestive problems, pounding heart, constipation, and diarrhea.
Emotional Stress Symptoms: Mood swings, irritability, nervousness, moodiness, hostility, depression, anxiety, excessive seriousness, poor and/or irrational judgment and mistakes while performing simple math and logic functions can be indicators of the existence of stress.
Behavioral Stress Symptoms: All types of anti-social behavior where they did not exist previously can indicate a high level of stress. We see things such as road rage, increased use of alcohol, and getting into altercations with co-workers, friends, and family.
Psychological or Mental Stress Symptoms: These types of signs include low self esteem, fuzzy thinking or perception, and negative self-talk (You are So stupid). Although this could seem to be a physical symptom of stress, exhibiting the symptoms of actual diseases which do not exist is really a psychological effort to manifest the stress in a physical manner.
This is not a doctoral thesis on the subject of stress symptoms, but just a small discussion of some signs that may manifest themselves in such a situation. While it is important to realize that these MAY be indicating the existence of stress, they may also be the indications of other conditions as well. For example, a brain tumor could cause headaches and a change in behavior such as outlined in the paragraph on behavioral stress symptoms. As with any illness or condition, early detection and proper intervention by trained personnel, with the cooperation of the individual, is probably going to yield the quickest and easiest resolution to the situation and relief from the root affliction.
Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area writer and a University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting and a keen interest in health, self improvement, happiness, and success. He is also a member of Mensa and has held several managerial positions over the years. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in internet marketing and developed various successful online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. He has a website with more information on the subject of stress at stress.web-home.ws .
He also has a blog where he posts comments related to various health issues at nodiet4me.blogspot.com .
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