According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there are three different types of stress. No matter the type of stress, they all carry physical and mental health risks. Stress may be characterized as:
The body responds to each type of stress in similar ways. However, different people may experience stress differently. For example, some people experience mainly digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger and irritability. People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold, and vaccines, such as the flu shot, are less effective for them.
How to cope with stress?
Previously, I published a blog on ways to cope with stress. Although not an exhaustive list it provided some simple strategies to cope with stress. The NIMH also provides the following tips:
In addition to these strategies, it may also be helpful to seek professional help if you feel that you are extremely overwhelmed by life circumstances. The American Psychological Association provides a free tool to locate psychologist in your area. You can also contact your local state psychological association for resources to help locate a therapist.
Copyright 2013 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.
Follow me on Twitter @DrEarlTurner and on Facebook at “Get Psych’d with Dr. T”
Follow Dr. Turner on twitter @DrEarlTurner
Dr. Turner is a licensed psychologist with expertise in behavioral pediatrics, child mental health, disruptive behavior disorders, and minority mental health. He is also certified as a National Register Health Service Psychologist.