Stress is a feeling created by frustration, anger, and nervous tension often aggravated by life events. Stress is not just a thoughts, but also a feeling derived from the body’s own release of specific hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. Together these hormones can help us when a rapid response might be necessary but more often than not, in modern-day life, they create a sense of unwellness and a daily sense of fear or dread.
Stress can wear us down, and with time, weaken our immune system, increase the risk of hypertension and heart disease. Unresolved stress can then lead to chronic anxiety and depression.
Stress is different for everyone. While a little bit of stress can be a good thing, for many it can be become unmanageable.
Stress in the context of COVID-19 likely falls into the latter, creating unwanted feelings and a deep sense of frustration.
Initial symptoms of stress can include agitation, frustration, feelings of being overwhelmed and a sense of worthlessness.
Physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and digestive issues often ensue. As time goes by symptoms may worsen and include insomnia, and a loss of desire.
Some people respond to stress by increasing their exposure to alcohol, or by self-medicating. Physical manifestations can include eczema and skin rashes, exacerbations of underlying conditions such as asthma, or ulcers.
Stress can lead to many of today's most serious health issues, as well as depression and anxiety.
Anxiety can often interfere with day to day activities. Worries that are normally under control become unmanageable. Sleep or the thought of sleeping becomes a chore or may feel impossible without the use of medication.
There are several techniques that therapists often recommend for stress management, including exercise, mediation, or yoga. Cognitive therapy, speaking with a specialist, or both can serve as an important bridge.
Unchecked anxiety can lead to depression with the attendant symptoms of lethargy, loss of interest, appetite, or self-esteem. However, both anxiety and depression can occur independently.
These symptoms often benefit from immediate attention and treatment.