Patient Comments: Stress - Physical Symptoms

Symptoms of stress can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your physical symptoms?

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 27

I can always tell when I am stressed. My neck and shoulder aches, I get slight headaches, I break out in hives, and I have trouble concentrating on what I am doing. I feel like my mind is wondering all over the place on overload. Oh, and my biggest problem with stress are all those sleepless nights where I just toss and turn. What I do to try and alleviate my stress is tell myself to slow down, one thing at a time, and convince myself that everything will get done in due time.

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Comment from: Mad Woman, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

I get a feeling of tightness in the throat and chest area. I have experienced massive blinding headaches that wake me from sleep. I grind my teeth at night when I'm asleep and my jaw is "set" during the day. My hearing is like listening to someone under water or as though there were cotton in my ears. I have never experienced stress until I reached my mid 40's and one doctor told me that I had post traumatic stress syndrome from things from my childhood, which I can believe, but I thought I had come to grips with. He also said that with the onset of menopause it happens quite frequently in women.

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Published: July 16

When I'm stressed, I get the feeling of being lost, not knowing what to do. I experience headaches that sometimes lead to migraines. I have become very defensive, snapping at others who "just try to help." I've experienced depression, leading to the distancing of myself from others. I've also had chest pains that feel like a knife being stabbed into my lungs. These are just to name a few of the symptoms I have due to stress.

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Published: July 09

My symptoms of stress were work related. I'm a veterinarian in a busy, high-demand practice. The signs were classic “fight or flight.” I had the feeling of an “adrenaline rush:” tingly extremities, restlessness, fast breathing, and the ability to go a day without any food. I had no time and no appetite. At nights, coming down, I would have trouble sleeping, irritability, restlessness and I would feel very low in general. When anticipating a big day, I would be dry-retching in the mornings and the nausea would be so bad I wouldn't be able to hold down liquids.

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Published: June 18

I get light-headed, I can't sit still, I get heartburn-like chest pains and shoulder/neck muscle cramps.

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Published: June 06

I felt chest pain, dizziness, some nausea, shaking a little from nerves, sore neck and shoulder muscles, and I had a topsy-turvy stomach.

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Published: June 05

Chronic migraines, heightened blood pressure and fatigue. Strange as it seems, I quit smoking over a month ago (I was a light smoker) and then I was constipated, the migraines started and my blood pressure went up. It is, however, probably a combination of other stressors that caused these problems.

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Published: June 05

My stress comes in the form of severe headaches, sleepless nights, vivid nightmares, (when I do sleep) anxiety attacks, dizziness, heart palpitations, irritability (to the point I don't even know myself anymore) which has lead to my increase in alcohol consumption. This in turn has caused me to gain weight and become lethargic. I am constantly tired. Interestingly enough, I used to be on a very disciplined routine of diet and exercise 6 days per week. I went from 127 pounds to 160 pounds in one year. I'd like my life back.

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Patient Comments

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Stress - Management Question: What stress management techniques have worked for you?
Stress - Effect on Health Question: Do you have a physical or psychological condition that is made worse by stress? Please share your story.
Stress - Teen Symptoms Question: If you're under 20, what makes you stressed out? How do you deal with your symptoms?

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