At one point or another, everyone experiences stress. Maybe you have a big test coming up, you’re going through a breakup, or you have a high-pressure job. Regardless of the source of your stress, when it becomes too much, your body lets you know in ways that may not be immediately obvious to you.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may be struggling with stress.
It’s normal to lose a few strands of hair a day, but people who are experiencing high levels of stress may begin to lose clumps of hair. Medically, this is referred to as telogen effluvium, which is when multiple hair follicles enter a resting phase at once and begin to fall out of the scalp. The exact reason why this happens is not fully understood, though it may be related to the hormones associated with stress.
Longer Periods of Illness
Are you having a tough time shaking that cold? If you find that you seem to be sick for weeks on end, it can be a signal of stress. Stress negatively impacts the immune system, which can mean that your body reacts more aggressively to viruses than it would if you weren’t stressed.
The digestive system and the brain are clearly linked. Stress and other strong emotions have an impact on the limbic system, which sends signals to the gastrointestinal organs. This can cause symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. If you are experiencing intestinal distress, it may be related to stress. Speak with a doctor to rule out any other causes, however, as this symptom can point to a number of health conditions.
Communication involves many different mental mechanisms, between listening to and interpreting what another person is saying, formulating your response, then actually responding. Extreme stress impacts your cognition, making communication difficult. If you’re experiencing high levels of stress, you might struggle to understand what another person is saying or to communicate what you’re thinking.
Difficulty Making Decisions
If even choices as small as what you’re eating for lunch feel overwhelming, you may be experiencing severe stress. In a recent article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, they reviewed how people struggle with weighing risk and reward when they are under stress. If you are in a stressful situation, it’s best to try to hold off on any major decisions until you have dealt with the source of your stress.
Suspiciousness or Paranoia
Does it feel like people are out to get you? Talking behind your back? One reason you may be feeling this way is stress. While the exact reason why this happens is not fully understood, it seems that stress’s negative impact on brain function often manifests in feeling suspicious or paranoid.
If you are experiencing stress, it’s important that you practice self-care. You may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy in Palatine. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.