person with tension headache struggling with signs and symptoms of severe stress

Signs and Symptoms of Severe Stress

Stress is the body’s way of responding to situations that may be harmful or threatening, whether these threats are real or not. While mild stress affects most people, severe stress is more serious with potential long-term health consequences. Someone with severe stress feels overwhelmed and under pressure most of the time, until the stress damages their bodies and minds. If you recognize yourself or someone you love in many of the symptoms below, a chronic stress disorder treatment program can help you get back on track to good health.

Physical Symptoms of Severe Stress

When the body is on constant high alert, it may break down more easily and show signs of severe stress. These symptoms vary from person to person, but they can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Trouble sleeping or constant fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Low energy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Grinding teeth or clenched jaw

Behavioral Signs of Severe Stress

The symptoms of severe stress can affect people at work, at home, and in intimate relationships. A person with severe stress might:

  • Become forgetful or disorganized
  • Worry constantly
  • Avoid responsibilities
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Increase nervous behaviors like fidgeting or biting nails
  • Be unable to focus
  • Avoid social situations

If you’re suffering from severe stress, you may feel:

  • Anxious or irritable
  • Stuck or unable to change your situation
  • Pessimistic
  • Unable to quiet racing thoughts
  • Overwhelmed and out of control
  • Worthless or hopeless

These feelings may be persistent or last for a long time.

Severe stress may overlap with symptoms of anxiety or depression, which also require medical treatment.

How Can Signs of Severe Stress Affect Your Health?

Symptoms of severe stress can change the brain over time, including areas of the brain that affect emotion, cognition, and behavior. This means a person with severe stress may be more likely to develop mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

If severe stress leads a person to abuse alcohol, drugs, or nicotine as a coping mechanism, these substances will eventually harm their health. Alcohol, for instance, is associated with higher rates of liver failure, heart disease, and other conditions.

Long periods of severe stress make the body work harder to stay healthy. As a result, severe stress makes a person’s body more vulnerable to a range of health problems.

  • The cardiovascular system may experience an overload of stress hormones that can increase the risk of high blood pressure and even heart disease.
  • Often a person with severe stress will tense the muscles in their neck and shoulders constantly, which can lead to ongoing headaches and migraines.
  • Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders, like ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, become more common with severe stress.
  • Rapid breathing, another symptom of severe stress, can interfere with normal breathing patterns and cause shortness of breath.

Many doctors target their severe stress treatment plan to a patient’s physical symptoms. Be as honest as possible with your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing, whether they’re physical or psychological. The best results tend to happen when treatment is holistic and considers the mind and body.

Treatment and Relief at Springfield Wellness Center

Severe stress can seem uncontrollable, but we’re here to help. Compassionate treatment gives you the tools to get and stay healthy. Springfield Wellness Center’s mood disorder treatment center is proud to offer BR+ NAD® treatment, which can reduce anxiety symptoms and lift your mood. BR+ NAD replaces important neurotransmitters in the body, and it can relieve symptoms of stress and depression.

BR+ NAD treatments work alongside therapy and counseling. In therapy, you’ll get to the root of your stress and learn coping techniques to help you handle anything that comes your way.

Find out how we can help you by contacting us at 844.334.4727 or online.