Symptoms of stress

Stress may cause a number of different symptoms. These symptoms may be broken down into two main categories, namely Physical and Mental. They affect how you may feel both physically and mentally; and may affect the way you may behave. 

Recognising both Physical and Mental signs may not always be easy, however people who know you well may pick this up and depending on the situation may bring it to the attention of loved ones. 

Never be shy to speak out as there are far more people than you could have imagined, who are willing to help you and get you back in the good space. Speak Out and Reach Out. 

Some of the common symptoms are listed below for ease of helping diagnose what just maybe STRESS.

Physical symptoms

  • Headaches and or dizziness
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Stomach problems
  • Chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • Sexual related problems

Mental symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Struggling to make decisions
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Constantly worrying
  • Being forgetful

Changes in behaviour

  • being irritable and snappy
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • avoiding certain places or people
  • drinking or smoking more

Some of the causes of stress

Stress is usually a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. It’s often related to feeling like you’re losing control over something, but sometimes there’s no obvious cause.

When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones such as Adrenaline and Cortisol.

This can be helpful for some people and stress might help you get things done or feel more motivated.

But it might also cause physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat or sweating. If you’re stressed all the time it can become a problem.

Identifying the cause

Should you have an idea or insight as to what may be elevating or causing your stress it might be easier to find ways to manage it. Easier said than done, as in many cases looking in the mirror for answers is not always the solution. Admitting to there being something wrong in the first place is the first major step.

Your close friends and or family is normally the first place to turn to for help. Where the situation may involve family and or friends, it is recommended that you seek help of a professional.

A few common examples of things that may cause stress may include:

  • Work – feeling pressure at work, unemployment or retirement
  • Family – relationship difficulties, divorce or caring for someone
  • Financial problems – unexpected bills or borrowing money
  • Health – illness, injury or losing someone (bereavement)

Even significant life events such as moving or buying a house, having a baby or planning a wedding could lead to the feeling of the onset of stress.

You might find it hard to explain to people why you feel this way, but talking to someone could help you find a solution.

It is always advised that you seek professional help as they are best equipped to diagnose and assist in this complex and often serious condition. In today’s fast moving and complex world, stress and the related symptoms is being named as the number one condition causing mortality to humans.

Dr Bruce J Mac Murray (DBA)
Author: Dr Bruce J Mac Murray (DBA)

Director Health.co.za