Stress is a normal feeling. In small doses, stress can help you get things done. Stress does not affect everyone the same way.
Many people feel stress symptoms in their body. You may be having pain in your abdomen, headaches, and muscle tightness or pain.
When you are very stressed, you may notice:
A faster heart rate
Other symptoms include:
Frequent need to pee
You may have a harder time focusing, feel tired most of the time, or lose your temper more often. Stress may also cause sexual problems. It can also cause problems with falling or staying asleep and nightmares.
Many people have stress when they need to adapt or change.
Starting a new job or school
Moving to a new home
Having a child
Breaking up with someone
An injury or illness to you, a friend, or a loved one is a common cause of stress. Feelings of stress and anxiety are common in people who feel depressed and sad.
Some drugs may cause or worsen symptoms of stress.
These can include:
Some inhaler medicines used to treat asthma
Some diet pills
Some cold remedies
Caffeine, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco products may also cause or make symptoms of stress or anxiety worse.
When these feelings happen often, a person may have an anxiety disorder. Other problems where stress may be present are:
Larzelere MM, Jones GN. Stress and health. Prim Care. 2008;35:839-856.
Ahmed SM, Lemkau JP, Hershberger PJ. Psychosocial influences on health. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.
Timothy Rogge, MD, Medical Director, Family Medical Psychiatry Center, Kirkland, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.