Prolonged and negative stress can have significant short term and long term effects on our mental health, physical health and behaviour. In turn, this can then affect a person’s work performance, home and social life and ultimately their personal relationships and own selfworth and motivation.
According the Stress Management Society (2009), our reactions to stressful situations have negative consequences on our body, making us excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable. In the short tem, this reduces the ability to work effectively, making it difficult to execute precise, controlled skills. Focusing on a stressful situation means that an individual is more likely to make decisions based on the good of themselves rather than the good of the group. We shut out information from other sources and cannot make balanced decisions.
In the long term, prolonged stress can have more serious impacts on one’s health, leading to the development of more serious conditions and illnesses. Continued stimulation of stress related chemicals weakens a persons’ immune system and mental health, making them more susceptible to many serious conditions.
If you have developed any of these conditions as a result of stress, it is likely that you are a sufferer of a severe type of stress.
It is advisable to speak to a medical professional if you have any concerns.
Research by the National Health Service (2009), and The Stress Management Society (2009) have shown that the following conditions and illness have been linked to stress:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Hay fever
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Menstrual difficulties
- Overactive thyroid
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin Disorders
In extreme cases, research shows that stress can cause psychological problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Cumulative Stress Disorder as well as increasing your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.