What is Chronic Stress Syndrome?

Chronic Stress Syndrome is something which can now be called as a medical condition due to the amount of stress an individual is going through these days. Chronic Stress Syndrome causes the body and mind to shutdown and the person has no control over himself or herself. Due to the demands of modern day life and the hardship throughout day and night takes its toll over a period of time and the body and brain starts demanding rest and a break. This leads to certain symptoms where your performance level starts to dip at work, you become irritable both at work and at home, you may stop enjoying activities you previously liked, you may become depressed, you may get angry for even small things. Chronic Stress Syndrome can significantly impact your quality life. Thus it is important understand the symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome and react accordingly in order to cope up with it.

It is important to note here that a balanced work-home equation should be drawn to cut down symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome. Minor stressors can be overcome by the body’s inbuilt stress response but when there is unending stress for a long period of time then an external help is required to ease the stress.

Chronic Stress Syndrome can physically and psychologically drain you over a period of time. For such cases stress management is the best way to cope up with Chronic Stress Syndrome. If Chronic Stress Syndrome is not treated then it may result in many health hazards like anxiety, muscle pain, insomnia, and high blood pressure along with a compromised immune system leading to frequent infections and missed days from work.

What is Chronic Stress Syndrome?

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome?

The symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are variable and range from generalized symptoms to emotional symptoms along with behavioral and cognitive symptoms.

Some of these symptoms have been delineated below:

Generalized Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lack of sleep
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Hypertension
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Varicose veins
  • Panic attacks
  • Panic disorder
  • Cardiovascular diseases.

Some of the Emotional Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are:

  • To become easily agitated, moody and frustrated
  • Feeling overwhelmed which makes you feel like you are losing control.
  • Having difficulty relaxing and have a peaceful mind
  • Having low self esteem
  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling depressed
  • Avoiding social environment.

Some of the Physical Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are:

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Nausea
  • Muscles aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heartbeat and chest pain
  • Infections and frequent colds
  • Decreased libido
  • Nervousness and shaking
  • Tinnitus
  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth
  • Clenched jaw.

Some of the Cognitive Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Disorganization and forgetfulness
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Abundance of negativity.

Some of the Behavioral Symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome are:

  • Changes in appetite with less desire to eat
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Indulgence in alcohol or recreational drug use
  • Increased nail biting and being fidgety

Ways to Deal With Chronic Stress Syndrome

Chronic Stress Syndrome is not something which cannot be addressed. A bit of effort from your side in the form of lifestyle modifications, a little bit of exercise, a balanced work life equation can do wonders and help you get rid of Chronic Stress Syndrome.

Get Proper Sleep: It has been proved that Chronic Stress Syndrome causes loss of sleep where an individual may not even be able to sleep for days unending. This may result in the individual feeling lethargic and unable to focus at work the following morning. This may lead to decreased performance at work. Thus, it is important to have a good sleep-wake cycle. For this, try and not drink any caffeinated beverage about four hours prior to going to sleep, as caffeine pumps up the adrenaline and causes you to stay awake resulting ultimately in Chronic Stress Syndrome.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Another way to get rid of Chronic Stress Syndrome is lifestyle modifications. Stay away from alcohol and other recreational drugs.

Take Short Frequent Breaks at Work: Try to take frequent breaks from work and do not work continuously. Try and manage your work in such a way that you even meet your deadline and come home on time for a happy dinner with family. A good time spent with family and kids does wonders in not only dealing with Chronic Stress Syndrome but also preventing it.

Become Physically Active: Another step towards getting rid of Chronic Stress Syndrome is physical activity. If you do not have time to spend at the gym then at least try and go for daily walks for about half an hour a day which not only keeps the stress away but also is good for your overall health. Physical activity leads to production of endorphins which will make you feel relaxed and feel good.

Healthy Diet Can Help You Deal With Chronic Stress Syndrome: Have a balanced and healthy diet is another step towards a stress free life and keeping Chronic Stress Syndrome at bay. If time is a constraint then you can try eating three small meals a day. Try and avoid fast foods and take foods which are healthy and rich in proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates to boost your energy system.

Music Can Soothe Your Mind: Light music is one of the best and most effective relaxation techniques that one can try to overcome stress. It has shown to calm down the mind and take you away from all the stressors that you may be having. These days it is also being used as a therapy in some institutes for overcoming stress. It is important here to discuss the importance of a good social support system for patients with Chronic Stress Syndrome, as a good social support framework can do wonders in taking the stress away from the patient and overcoming Chronic Stress Syndrome.

Meditation Can Help You Deal With Chronic Stress Syndrome Effectively: Meditation and yoga has also shown to be quite effective in relaxing the mind and coping up with Chronic Stress Syndrome

In cases where these measures are not helpful, then it is time for you to consult with a skilled psychologist or a psychiatrist for potential therapies or medications to control the stress response.

The psychologist can help you with a variety of steps for coping up with Chronic Stress Syndrome. Relaxation techniques and behavioral therapy are some of the methods employed by psychologists. In some cases, medications can also be given to help relax the patient.

Since Chronic Stress Syndrome is both emotionally and physically draining for the patient and it also adversely affects the family life of the patient hence it is important for the patient to recognize the condition and taking steps to cope up with it.

Escaping measures like alcohol and drug use are of no help as they only aggravate the condition apart from their other health hazards. If this condition is ignored or left untreated it can lead to various medical conditions like anxiety and depression and various other medical conditions.

Last but not least, smile as often as you can as it is the best gift that you can give to someone. The best way to stay relaxed is to have a good smile, exercise daily, spend time with your family, meditation and if required consultation with a good psychologist so that you can live a stress free life and overcome the symptoms of Chronic Stress Syndrome.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 7, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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