Is stress an illness?

While stress is not considered an illness, it can cause specific medical symptoms, sometimes serious enough to send you to the emergency room or your healthcare professional's office.

According to the American Psychological Association's 2010 Stress in America survey, the majority of Americans report living with moderate or high levels of stress. As a result of stress, 51% of people surveyed reported fatigue, 40% reported headaches, 49% reported lack of motivation or energy and 56% reported irritability or anger.

On average, those who reported their health as fair or poor had more stress (an average stress rating of 6.2 on a 10-point scale) compared with those who rated their health as excellent or very good (an average stress rating of 4.9 on a 10-point scale).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.