Stress Management Techniques (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are the symptoms and effects of excess stress or "out-of-control" stress?

Reader Stories

Manifestations of excess or poorly managed stress can be extremely varied. While many people report that stress induces headaches, sleep disturbances, feelings of anxiety or tension, anger, or concentration problems, others may complain of depression, lack of interest in food, increased appetite, or any number of other symptoms. In severe situations, one can experience overwhelming stress to the point of so-called "burnout," with loss of interest in normal activities.

Scientific studies have shown that psychological stress may worsen the symptoms of almost every known medical condition. Examples of conditions in which stress may worsen the intensity of symptoms include cardiovascular diseases, asthma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, acne, fibromyalgia, and depression. While stress alone is not a cause of cardiovascular disease nor high blood pressure, it may actually worsen the progression of these diseases in many people.

Stress also has effects on the immune system. While some studies show that acute short-term stresses may actually be able to boost the body's immune response, chronic (long-term) stress has the effect of "wearing down" the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to colds and other infections. Scientific studies have also shown that stress can decrease the immune response to vaccinations and prolong wound healing.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2015

Stress Quiz: Test Your Emotional IQ

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Stress Management Techniques - Experience Question: What are your stress management techniques at work?
Stress Management Techniques - For Parents Question: What stress management techniques do you recommend?
Stress Management Techniques - Symptoms of Stress Question: Stress effects everyone differently. Please describe your symptoms associated with excess stress.
Stress Management Techniques - Relaxation Question: Discuss relaxation techniques that have helped you deal with stress.
Stress Management Techniques - Time Management Question: Procrastination can make stress worse. Please share time-management skills that have helped you cope.