CHRONIC STRESS TREATMENT
Stress Management Support
Therapy for Chronic Stress
No one is immune to stress in today’s world. However, how we respond and the length of time we experience tension can impact our mental health. Human beings are hard-wired to react to stress in ways that are designed by nature to protect and preserve us. Known as the fight-or-flight response, our reaction can keep us safe from danger (real or perceived). In some situations, a little stress can help us achieve a deadline, score a goal at a game, get ready for an exam, or boost our motivation to exercise.
Once stress becomes chronic, it can have a ripple effect on our mind, body, relationships, work, family life, and more. The symptoms of chronic stress may include, but are not limited to:
Constant or overwhelming fatigue
Withdrawal from loved ones
Headaches or stomach aches
Increased or decreased appetite
Regular infections or illnesses
Feeling a loss of control
Low self-esteem or worth
Overreaction to everyday situations
Chronic Stress & Mental Health
Chronic stress has been shown to alter the way the brain’s neurons communicate so that the person is in a constant state of vigilance. In a hyper-vigilant state, you will have increased alertness and sensitivity to your surroundings — you may be quick to anger, faster heartbeat, more tense muscles, and so forth.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on a person’s immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems. It can also lead to changes in the brain’s hippocampus, which is crucial for long-term memory and spatial navigation.
Ongoing stress has been linked to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. In other research, chronic psychological stress has been linked to the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.
Although the brain is programmed to react to stress, it needs a break between triggering events. When it’s uninterrupted, stress doesn’t allow for enough of a break for the mind and body to recover.
Recovery from Chronic Stress
While it’s not always possible to eliminate the source of stress in the short-term, we can alter the way our brain responds to stress.
Modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), helps a person understand and modify their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours around stressful situations.
At Bhatia Psychology Group, we help you develop adaptive coping methods so that you are better equipped to handle stress. Contact us today for support.
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FAQs – Chronic Stress
What are common symptoms of chronic stress?
Chronic stress has a variety of symptoms, including irritability, fatigue, trouble concentrating, headaches, difficulty sleeping, appetite changes, digestive issues, feeling a loss of control, nervousness, and frequent illness. If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for a long time, it’s important to find healthy ways to manage your stress, such as reaching out for help from a mental health professional.
What is the difference between stress vs chronic stress?
Stress, or ‘acute stress,’ is short-term. Examples of this type of stress include when you almost get in a car accident, are in a traffic jam and late to an appointment, or when you are called upon in class to answer a question. Chronic stress, on the other hand, lasts for long durations, without relief. A common example is ongoing financial or work stress.
Is chronic stress a disease?
Chronic stress, itself, is not a disease. However, it can lead to a variety of diseases and health issues. These include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
What causes chronic stress?
Chronic stress may arise from a variety of reasons, such as financial strain, dysfunctional relationships, job dissatisfaction, and more. Usually, any ongoing situation that drains your energy and cognitive functioning may be contributing to chronic stress.
Can chronic stress impact your thinking?
Since chronic stress shrinks the prefrontal cortex, it can cause issues with memory and learning. You may also find it difficult to concentrate and become more susceptible to feeling fearful.
What is the best treatment for chronic stress?
The best treatment for chronic stress may depend on the individual and their situation. In many cases, talking to a professional can help you manage chronic stress. For instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you alter the thoughts associated with the perceived stressful situation. Contact us today to book your appointment.