Stress is a normal part of life. In small amounts, stress is good. It can motivate you and help you be more productive. But too much stress is harmful. It can set you up for overall poor health as well as specific illnesses like heart disease and depression. Chronic stress often leads to anxiety and unhealthy behaviors like overeating and alcohol or drug abuse.
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 may not be stressful to another.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, fear, or intense worry. Feelings of anxiety can occur without a clear cause. And if you don’t know why you feel anxious, it can add to the distress you feel.
Everyone responds differently to specific life events. However, there are certain situations that are more likely to lead to stress. And, certain symptoms may be a sign that you have a stress disorder.
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|Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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