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What are the symptoms of stress?

If you are suffering from stress, you may be experiencing a variety of symptoms that feel severe enough to prompt you to see a healthcare professional. These include:

  • headaches
  • frequent upset stomach, indigestion, gas pain, diarrhea or appetite changes
  • feeling as though you could cry
  • muscular tension
  • tightness in your chest and a feeling as though you can't catch your breath
  • feeling nervous or sad
  • irritability and anger
  • having problems at work or in your normal relationships
  • sleep disturbance: either insomnia or hypersomnia (inability to sleep or sleeping too much)
  • apathy (lack of interest, motivation or energy)
  • mental or physical fatigue
  • frequent illness
  • hives or skin rashes
  • tooth grinding
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • ringing in the ears
  • disruptions in your menstrual cycle or unusually severe PMS or menopausal symptoms

Physical signs of stress include frequent headaches, difficulty sleeping, sore and stiff muscles, nausea or upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, a general sense of fatigue and increased susceptibility to illness. Mental symptoms of stress include an inability to concentrate, confusion, indecisiveness and loss of your sense of humor. On an emotional level, stress can make us anxious, nervous, irritable, quick to anger, impatient and depressed. Behaviors indicative of stress include fidgeting, pacing or restlessness. However, you can also feel sluggish or avoid work because it seems too daunting.

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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.