Explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. Includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support.
Stress is how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don't feel we can manage or control.
When we experience stress, it can be as:
If you feel stress as part of a bigger group, you may all experience it differently. This can happen even if the cause of your stress is the same.
“It's overwhelming. Sometimes you can't see beyond the thick fog of stress.”
Sometimes, a small amount of stress can help us to complete tasks and feel more energised. But stress can become a problem when it lasts for a long time or is very intense. In some cases, stress can affect our physical and mental health.
You might hear healthcare professionals refer to some types of stress as 'acute' or 'chronic':
“I had time off work with stress and anxiety issues. I was on a very slippery slope and getting further down said slope at a rapid speed. I was scared.”
Stress is not normally considered a mental health problem. But it is connected to our mental health in several ways:
This information was published in March 2022. We will revise it in 2025.
References and bibliography available on request.
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