Stress

Stress Health Summary
Everyone is familiar with stress. We experience it in varying forms and degrees every day. In small doses, stress can actually be beneficial to us. Stress symptoms include anxiety, distraction, nervousness, internal pressure, and irritability. The first step in managing stress is to identify the cause.
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Stress Overview

Comment on this

Everyone is familiar with stress. We experience it in varying forms and degrees every day. In small doses, stress can actually be beneficial to us. It is only when the stress becomes too great, affecting our physical or mental functioning, that it becomes a problem.

  • In small doses, stressors can help give us increased energy and alertness, even helping to keep us focused on the problem at hand. This type of stress is good. People may refer to the experience of this type of stress as feeling "pumped" or "wired."
  • As the level of pressure gets too great, stress eventually surpasses our ability to cope with it in a positive way. Often, people describe themselves as being stressed out, burned out, or at wits' end. At this point, it is important to find positive and productive ways to deal with the stress and, more importantly, to address the person or situation that is causing the stress.
  • Everyone reacts to stress differently. Each of us has a different level of pressure and anxiety that we can handle without a bad outcome. Only you can assess your level of tolerance to stressful situations. The best treatment for stress is to prevent getting into situations that are likely to overwhelm your ability to cope. This is not always possible because the stressors may often come from outside sources that are beyond your control.
Image of areas of the body that are affected by stress
Picture of areas of the body that are affected by stress

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/5/2012

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Stress - Physical Symptoms Question: Symptoms of stress can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your physical symptoms?
Stress - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with stress.
Stress - Diagnosis Question: How was your stress diagnosed?
Stress - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your stress?
Stress - Prevention Question: What prevention measures do you use to avoid getting a stress?