Different Types of Stress

Different Types of Stress

Woman with her hands clasp over face feeling sad.

As a recovering addict, it is important that you manage your stress effectively to help you avoid relapse.  However, it can be difficult to do so as there are many different types, each with its own symptoms and cure.  Read on to learn about the three different types of stress, and what can be done to treat them.   

Acute Stress

The most common form of stress is acute stress.  It is caused by the pressures of everyday life, and is typically short lived.  In small amounts, acute stress can actually be beneficial, as it can help give you the energy to finish projects within deadlines.  However, when you have too much stress, it can become completely exhausting.  

Symptoms of acute stress include: tension headaches, emotional distress, back or jaw pain, stomach problems (diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowels, etc.), increase in blood pressure and heartbeat, and shortness of breath.

In order to manage acute stress, deal with both the emotional response as well as the stressful situation itself.  Take a few deep breaths, and then find out how you can minimize the stressful situation.  Make sure that you take time for yourself and do all that you can to dial back on stressful situations.  

Episodic Acute Stress

Episodic acute stress is much like acute stress, but it appears more frequently.  People who suffer from episodic acute stress are sometimes referred to as “worry warts.”  They bite off more than they can chew so to speak, are always rushing about, have a hard time organizing their life, and often find things chaotic.  

Symptoms of episodic acute stress include those of acute stress but also nervous energy, irritability, hostility, deteriorating relationships, frequent migraines, and heart disease.  Treating episodic acute stress is more difficult, and it is often necessary to make lifestyle changes or meet with a professional.  

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can be completely debilitating.  When stress pounds on a person for months, or even years, it slowly dissolves a person’s mind, body, and relationships.  Normally, chronic stress is caused by deep rooted issues such as poverty or a dysfunctional family, or even a traumatic experience as a child or a belief system (ie perfectionism or a victim mentality).  

Symptoms of chronic stress include feeling trapped, burned out, or depressed on a consistent basis.  Many people who suffer from chronic stress can even forget that it is there.  However, chronic stress can kill.   It can cause suicidal thoughts, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.  Treating chronic stress is a challenge, and may require extended medical care, as well as extreme behavior changes.  

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