Stress is the normal response we all have. However, acute or chronic stress can be damaging to our health.
What is stress?
When we are under stress, our bodies respond by releasing certain hormones. Adrenaline is the hormone which puts us into fight or flight mode and increases the blood flow in our bodies. Cortisol is another hormone released – it makes your brain more alert and our reactions quicker. The burst of these hormones help to make us feel more motivated and prepared to do something, so for many the stress reaction can be useful.
However, if the stress reaction goes on for too long, or becomes severe, stress can be damaging to our health and even result in serious conditions.
11.7 million work days are lost each year due to stress – 45% of the total amount of days taken. 1
1 in 5 workers reported feeling moderate to high levels of stress on a regular basis. 2
The biggest causes of stress are family issues, money, health and relationship issues.
Is stress dangerous?
In small doses, stress isn’t dangerous. However, if the feeling of stress is acute or chronic then you are at more risk of developing depression or an anxiety disorder. Someone with chronic (sustained) or acute stress will have high levels of cortisol in their system, which reduces the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brains. This can lead to an anxiety disorder or depression.
Being stressed can also create environmental causes for depression – you might find it harder to do activities you once enjoyed, be less emotional available to your partner or family and find it harder to achieve at work and all of these can leave you feeling depressed.
There is also lots of research which has shown that the stress hormones can lead to serious physical health issues, including heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Clinical Partners have a team of experienced clinicians who can successfully assess and treat stress. To speak to someone about how we can help please call 0203 326 9160.
What are the symptoms of stress?
If you are experiencing some or all of the following, you may well be experiencing stress.
- Overeating (comfort eating)
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Substance abuse
- Smoking more
- Feeling irritable at others
- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions
- Supressing anger / having angry outbursts
- Unable to complete tasks and jumping from one thing to another
- Becoming obsessed with one thing, normally work
- Feeling out of control
- Tiredness and exhaustion, even on waking
- Having nervous energy and not feeling you can relax
What treatment is there for stress?
It is normally much easier to deal with the symptoms of stress early on, so we would always recommend seeking help as soon as you can.
Talking therapies such as psychotherapy or psychology can be some of the most effective means of dealing with stress. Working with an expert you can talk to through the sources of stress, the impact it has on your life and coping mechanisms. Talking therapies can be hugely effective at helping feel better and there is a lot of research demonstrating that working with a therapist can give long term benefits.
The Clinical Partners triage team are here to help you understand the different options available to you. Call 0203 326 9160 or request a call back to speak to someone today.
What causes stress?
There are internal and external sources of stress.
Internal stressors are perhaps the most common. They are thoughts and feelings that can be intrusive and pervasive. Unrealistic expectations, feeling uncertain about things in your life and have low self worth can all cause stress.
External stressors are the things that happen around us. These can be life events, such as bereavements, divorce, house moves and pregnancy. They can be traumatic events, such as a car accident or attack. Some of our main stressors are our day to day life experiences, such as work deadlines, parenting concerns and relationship difficulties.
If you have concerns about how you are feeling and would like to talk to someone about seeking help, please call 0203 326 9160 or request a call back to speak to one of our qualified triage team today.
1 Labour Force Survey.
2 Perkbox survey.