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Stress: Where Does It Come From?

What to Do About It

Stress is a term coined by Hans Selye who was a prominent feature in the book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, which I read in the last couple years of living by myself. Physical stress makes people look ill. Selye is one I need to read more of since he pioneered the field of stress management. I was under so much stress in high school anyway, with no idea how to manage it. Stress can make one over eat while being overwhelmed with their anxious feelings. There are three stages of stress, such as stage one, an alarm reaction that leads to fight or flight, taking energy from the immune system, causing illness.

Stage two is resistance, where the body adapts to the stress, and in high school I was used to being incredibly stressed from not taking medication at all. Stage three is exhaustion, as the immune system becomes ineffective, since patients with long-term stress could be felled by a heart attack or infections because of their reduced immune resistance to illness. My stress was unrelenting when I was growing up. Stress can really affect your health. I found out recently that I had untreated high blood pressure until this past year. This was a huge cause of my anxiety as blood pressure being high can make the sufferer feel wound up.

Anxiety creeps up when you are exposed to stress. Anxiety causes you to feel worry, fear, or unease. Stress and anxiety can be helpful though when you are in a dangerous situation that you need to fight like hell to get out of. Anxiety can be motivating, and I feel it is something I need to work on because my anxiety can get the better of me sometimes. Anxiety does however, cause irrational fear, which I remember very well in high school.

Stress can cause physical symptoms such as a stomach ache, muscle tension, headache, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, sweating, shaking, dizziness, frequent urination, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, and fatigue. Emotional symptoms of stress include feelings of impending doom, panic or nervousness in social settings, difficulty concentrating, irrational anger, and restlessness. Stress can cause long-term damage if you don’t get your stress under control, such as heart disease and my current high blood pressure, which is treated, along with diabetes. Who is to say my type one came from stress. Depression or panic disorder can be either result of being exposed to too much stress. My panic disorder these days is under control with medication.

Life stress can come up with moving, starting a new school or job, having an illness or injury, the death of a family member or friend, getting married or having a baby.

Stimulant drugs such as street drugs or caffeine use can make a person feel stress symptoms worse. So does alcohol. Alcohol is no way to manage stress but hey, some people close to me use it. There are quite a few anxiety disorders and I have several of them including C-PTSD. Yes, I live by myself because I don’t want to burden a roommate with my disabilities or make anybody uncomfortable with my always knowing something. If I had a roommate, indeed, I would be lying to them all the time or coming up with believable cover stories. I also have OCD which causes repetitive thought, bipolar makes you have racing thoughts and my schizophrenia can cause delusions. But hey, all of this is under control with medication. I have uncovered this last semester that painting helps me get my stress under control. So I’m going to try to paint sometime this week in order to see if my stress can be managed.

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Stress: Where Does It Come From?
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