The link between stress and physical symptoms is well-established. When we experience emotional stress, our body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are part of the “fight-or-flight” response, which is designed to help us protect ourselves in dangerous situations.
However, when the fight-or-flight response is constantly activated due to chronic stress, it can take a toll on our physical health. Studies have found that chronic stress is associated with a variety of physical health problems, including heart disease, stomach problems, headaches, and sleep difficulties.
While it’s not clear exactly how stress causes these physical symptoms, one theory is that it leads to inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural process that helps us heal from injuries or infections. However, when it’s constantly activated due to chronic stress, it can damage our cells and lead to illness.
If you’re experiencing physical symptoms that you think may be caused by stress, it’s important to see a doctor so they can rule out any other potential causes. There are also many things you can do to manage your stress levels and reduce your risk of developing physical health problems related to emotional stress.
Extremely high and low moods
Moods are our emotional state or condition at a given time. They can be high, low, or somewhere in between. Everyone experiences mood swings from time to time, but some people have extreme mood swings that can interfere with their daily life.
Extremely high moods are known as mania, while extremely low moods are known as depression. People who experience extreme highs and lows may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in mood and energy levels. These shifts can be very severe and can make it hard for someone to carry out their normal activities.
Mania is characterized by an abnormally elevated or irritable mood, increased energy levels, and decreased need for sleep. During a manic episode, people may act impulsively and recklessly without thinking about the consequences of their actions. They may also experience delusions and hallucinations. Mania can lead to serious problems such as financial ruin, legal troubles, relationship problems, and job loss. In some cases, it can even lead to suicide attempts or homicide.
Depression is characterized by an abnormally low mood along with other symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite leading to weight loss or gain, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, hopelessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can make it hard for someone to get out of bed in the morning or take care of themselves properly. It can also interfere with work, school, social activities, and relationships. In severe cases, depression can be life-threatening.
When someone is experiencing social withdrawal, it is important for their loved ones to be supportive and understanding. It may be helpful to encourage the person to participate in activities that they enjoy, or offer to spend time with them in order to help them feel less alone. In severe cases, professional help may be necessary in order to help the person cope with their stress levels and regain their ability to function socially.
Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
When someone experiences a dramatic change in their eating or sleeping habits, it can be a sign that they are under a lot of emotional stress. This is because when we are stressed, our bodies go into survival mode and start to conserve energy. This can lead to us feeling tired all the time and not having much of an appetite. If you notice that you or someone you know has suddenly stopped eating or is sleeping all the time, it might be a good idea to check in with them and see how they’re doing.