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Some Symptoms of Stress

Intellectual symptoms: Memory problems. Difficulty making decisions. Inability to concentrate. Confusion. Seeing only the negative. Emotional symptoms: Moody and hypersensitive. Restlessness and anxiety. Depression. Anger and resentment. Lack of confidence

Stress may be affecting your health Symptoms to recognize it:

Stress symptoms often mimic symptoms of other problems. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent forgetfulness or your decreased productivity at work. But the common denominator may be stress. Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. The signs and symptoms of stress are manifestations of the functional adjustments that happen in the body. It varies with the type of stress whether it is acute, chronic or delayed. The functional changes are physiological changes and are the reasons for signs and stress physical symptoms to be manifested. The changes that occur are: Diversion of the blood from less vital to more vital organs. Increase in the heart rate to supply more blood quickly. Increase in the blood pressure to supply blood efficiently. Increase in the respiratory rate to get more oxygen from the atmosphere.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Stress

There is loss of appetite. There is severe muscular pain, especially muscles of posture causing back pain and neck pain. Dryness of throat and hence difficulty in speaking and swallowing. Palpitation. Head ache. Breathlessness. Other Symptoms Suppression of immunity resulting in infection Over reaction of immune system resulting in flare ups of Asthma, eczema etc. Increased appetite leading to weight gain. Sleeplessness. Memory disturbances. Stroke Substance abuse Excessive tiredness

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD

Post traumatic stress syndrome or post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined as a delayed reaction to an exceptionally stressful situation or a life threatening event. The delay can be as long as 6 months or even more. This disorder has gained significant attention during the past few years. Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Post traumatic stress disorder follows an exceptionally stressful or a catastrophic life event after a dormant period. The causative event usually is so severe that any normal person who experiences it gets affected. The stressful events could be any of the following. Natural Calamity - e.g. Post -Tsunami, Post- Massive Earthquakes, Fires etc. Wars - e.g. Post- Gulf war etc. Terror - e.g. 9/11, London Bomb Blasts, Terrorism attacks. Serious Accidents like train accidents, plane crashes and building collapses. Traumatic death of beloved ones - e.g. Life partner, Parents, Children

Effects of PTSD
The persons who survive the calamities or who witness those events get affected and start manifesting the syndrome after a couple of months. Whenever a person perceives an event as a dangerous one, the normal response would be Fight or flight. But when the stress of the event is very severe or the situation is such a one that could not be overcome or avoided it results in post traumatic stress disorder. The manifestations of the disorder are seen after a couple of months. The impact of the event is so much that the person who is affected, tries to avoid any stimuli reminding him of that past stressful event. In spite of it, if the person experiences the stimuli, the manifestations become more severe. An affected person gets repeated recollection of the stressful event as Flashbacks or dreams. The person re-experiences the original trauma and repeated Re-experiences cause a behavioral change in the person. The changes could be:

Psychological numbing Amnesia of certain aspects of the stressful event Inability to experience pleasure Isolation Reduced interest in activities


Effects of PTSD Contd..

Short Term Effects: These effects are seen when the person re-experiences the past trauma as Flash backs or dreams. They are mostly physical effects. Head aches Stomach upset Chest pain Breathing difficulties Giddiness Long Term Effects: These effects are seen for a longer period of time no matter whether the affected person re- experiences his past trauma or not. Memory Disturbances Depression Sleeplessness Anxiety disorders like phobias Substance abuse and anti social behaviour.