Anxiety Can Make You Physically Sick 9 Signs Of Excessive Stress
by Linda K. Laffey, MFT | Jan 3, 2018 | Anxiety, Anxiety & Stress Reduction
Many people think that anxiety and excessive stress only impact the mind.
But your body and your mind are so intertwined that anxiety can actually make you feel physically sick.
In fact, its not uncommon for people to misinterpret the symptoms of anxiety for a simple cold or a stomach ache. Anxiety and stress are stealthy. This can make it tricky to know whats what. You might not even realize whats happening. All you know is that you dont feel well.
So here are a few signs to watch for when it comes to your body and dealing with excessive stress.
Is There A Direct Connection Between Stress And Fatty Liver Disease
Simply based on the fact that stress is a culprit in diseases across all organ systems, it must also be true that stress is also involved in fatty liver disease. Stress seems to be connected to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, although researchers have not pinpointed biological mechanisms. Moreover, the direction of the relationship between stress and fatty liver disease is undetermined in the scientific literature: Does stress worsen the fatty liver disease, or does fatty liver disease worsen stress?
The research examining the direct impact of stress on fatty liver disease is inconclusive and not comprehensive at this point. However, there does seem to be a consistent association between higher stress levels and a higher risk of fatty liver disease. Not only that, but some research indicates that depression is associated with a higher degree of liver cell damage among people with fatty liver disease. Research also suggests that depression and anxiety may worsen the progression of fatty liver disease.
A recent study published in Nature evaluated the connection between perceived stress and fatty liver disease prevalence in 170,000 adults. Results revealed that higher levels of perceived stress were associated with a higher risk of fatty liver disease.
The field of research evaluating the role of stress in fatty liver disease is fairly new. Further explorations will yield more information and shed light on biological mechanisms.
You Break Out In Hives
If you’re suddenly covered in itchy red bumps, stress might be to blame. When your body experiences excessive stress your immune system gets wonky and your body starts releasing the chemical histamine to fight off your ailment. If the stress doesn’t go away, you essentially develop an allergic reaction and, boom, hives galore. When your immune system is weakened by stress, your skin can also become irritated by things it never used to be sensitive to, such as soap, cold or heat, lotions, or laundry detergent.
What to do: Put a cool, damp towel on the affected area. if that doesn’t work, take an antihistamine.
Wish you had more time to relax and de-stress your brain? Try these super-simple, totally healthy de-stressing activities.
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Signs Stress Is Making You Sick
A little stress can actually be a good thing. In small spurts, it’s what motivates you to prep for a major test or work presentation, or makes your palms go sweaty in anticipation of a first date.
Too much stress, on the other hand, can be overwhelming and even detrimental to your physical health.
“Just like our feelings give us information about our needs, so do our bodies through physiological feedback,” says Eliza Chamblin, a therapist in New York City who specializes in stress management. “If you are noticing any physical or somatic symptoms, consider it as valuable information telling you that something isnt right.”
Not sure what those physical signs might be? Here are six potential indications that stress is making you sick, plus what to do for each situation.
Psychological Symptoms Of Gad
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
- difficulty concentrating
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
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Can Depression And Anxiety Make You Sick
June 8, 2019Rhonda Kelloway, LCSW, SEP
One aspect of depression and anxiety that makes these disorders so frustrating is how they affect the whole body. But can depression and anxiety actually make you sick?
No two experiences of depression are the same. But its pretty common to feel lethargic, fatigued, agitated, tearful, in pain, no appetite or increased appetite, and headaches, in addition to feeling down.
Similarly, anxiety can show up in the body in lots of ways. Common symptoms are tightness in the chest, agitation, trembling, chest pain, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness, tingling or cold in the extremities, panic, heart palpitations, etc.
In other words, you experience these disorders physically, as well as emotionally. You feel sick. This whole body experience can easily be misinterpreted as a physical illness, rather than a mental one.
However, sometimes depression and anxiety can actually make you sick. More precisely, they can contribute and lead to actual physical illness or another mental illness. This dynamic typically happens in two ways. First, if depression or anxiety is not treated and even becomes chronic. Second, if depression or anxiety trigger another disorder.
How To Take Control Of Your Stress
The good news is that you can avoid health problems associated with chronic worry by learning how to manage your stress.
Dr. Borland suggests the following steps to help you cope with stress:
- Exercise each day. Do some form of exercise each day, whether strength training, aerobic exercise or walking your dog.
- Meditate and breathe deeply. Repeat a calming mantra or visualize a serene setting.
- Eat healthy. Focus on a balanced diet. Also, limit your caffeine and sugar intake, which can key you up and contribute to anxiety and insomnia.
- Stay in contact with people who support you. Get support from your spouse or significant other, parents, siblings and friends.
- Take part in fun activities with family and friends. Smile, laugh and be as emotionally present as you can.
- Seek calming, creative activities. Try painting or drawing, gardening or cooking.
- Be grateful. Focus on areas of life for which you are appreciative. Pay attention to what makes you feel grateful.
- Talk to your doctor and, if necessary, seek professional mental health treatment. Dont hesitate to reach out to your doctor, especially if you are coping with depression or anxiety.
Worry is a part of life for everyone, and this past year has been extra stressful for many. But by taking steps to proactively manage your stress, you can help make sure that your daily worries dont end up hurting your health.
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What To Do If Stress Is Making You Mentally Fatigued:
- Try to pare down the number of decisions you make per day. Research shows that the more choices we make, the less energy and self-control we have afterwards. Simple ways to cut down on your daily decision load could mean streamlining your meal and outfit choices .
- Try moving decision-heavy work meetings to the morning, or whenever youre at your freshest.
- Stop multitasking. Spreading your attention and energy across too many verticals can, ironically, make you less productive. Stay with one assignment at a time and if you can help it, avoid letting small tasks interrupt any big projects you’re working on.
- Avoiding checking phone and email notifications for the first hour or so of your day. This will help you set your own mood and intentions for the day without being sidelined by work responsibilities, friend FOMO, or other stressful jolts.
- Give yourself dedicated time to zone out. Just like athletes need a rest day before they have a big competition, our brains also need downtime to replenish and get ready for additional work. Let your mind wander every day, whether that means taking an extra long shower, doodling in a notebook, or going for a walk with your phone set to airplane mode.
How Mental Health Affects Physical Health
When we experience a sudden onset of stress, maybe from slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident, our muscles tense up and then release once the tension passes.
But when we are under stress for prolonged periods of time, those muscles remain tense, which can trigger headaches and muscle pain, according to the American Psychological Association.
Chronic stress and poor mental health can contribute to a range of long-term physical health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular disease. The release of adrenaline when you’re stressed causes your heart rate to speed up and raises your blood pressure. Over time, this can put extra pressure on your heart and harm your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
- Gastrointestinal problems. Stress can cause a decrease of blood flow to the stomach, which can result in cramping, bloating, inflammation, and lack of appetite.
- Poor sleep quality. Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, and not getting adequate sleep can exacerbate health problems and weaken your immune system.
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Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain
Certain anxiety disorders can cause feelings of chest pain.
Chest pain is not a common symptom of the general anxiety you feel here and there.
However, if you suffer from a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder, you may experience feelings of chest pain during a panic attack.
The most important consideration any time you’re experiencing chest pain is the possibility of heart attack, which is a medical emergency.
Unfortunately, panic attack symptoms and heart attack symptoms can feel similar. So, whether you have a history of panic attacks or not, you should go to the emergency room if you’re experiencing chest pain.
Can Being Sick Make You Vulnerable To Anxiety
Every year in the United States alone we get billions of colds, flues, and other common ailments. For most people these well known sicknesses cause a lot of aggravation but not much else. If you have an anxiety disorder on the other hand, something as basic as the common cold can make you a bit jumpy.
The motivation behind this post is really simple Im sick. Ive been sick with a chest cold for about five days now and although things are improving slowly I have noticed an effect on my anxiety.
And because Ive been laying in bed for a couple of days Ive had some to time to think about this issue and want to share my thoughts.
What I have found is that the common cold, flu, or other common ailments dont actually effect your anxiety level. What can effect your anxiety level is the emotional stress related to being sick.
You see as you lay there with the sniffles, runny nose, cough, body aches, and fever your mind starts to wonder. Because youre actually sick you begin to see the sickness as something more threatening than it is. Or you may believe that it may turn into something more serious.
On a more tangible level you may also become effected by some of the things youve tried to do to kill the bug causing all the misery. That is you went to the store and stocked up on over the counter drugs to suppress the many symptoms you have.
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The Stress Hormone Cortisol Plays A Role: Can Emotional Abuse Make You Sick
Studies show that prolonged stress leads to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, and after a while, this can lead to inflammation. Can emotional abuse make you sick? Chronic inflammation can lead to diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
If your body is experiencing the symptoms of anxiety or depression you may be ready to evaluate your relationship or your job. As you begin to shift your attention inward, and start the healing process, exercise, meditation, yoga and tai chi can really help.
You will need to sift through your feelings and make sense of what has happened. Neurofeedback can help calm your nervous system so that you will be able to think things through and make decisions. It will help you feel resilient and calm your mind.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing can help you work through particularly stressful events. EMDR has been proved to desensitize you to the trauma and stress youve been through.
When To See A Doctor
If anxiety-related nausea is interfering with your quality of life and you cant manage it on your own, its time to see your doctor. If its not due to a medical condition, ask for a referral to a mental health professional.
Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point. There are steps you can take to lower stress and deal with occasional bouts of nausea.
There is help. Anxiety, nausea, and anxiety disorders can be identified and effectively managed.
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Can Anxiety Cause Nausea
Most of us know that nauseous feeling you get before a big event. Even if its a happy situation, like a wedding, we still feel ill.
Everyone suffers from anxiety at some point in their lives. Kids often have anxiety before a big test at school. This kind of anxiety is normal and only lasts a few days.
Recently, Coronovirus Anxiety has swept the world. Coronavirus anxiety counseling services are popping up from reputable therapists.
But for some people, anxiety is a familiar feeling all the time. It might stick around for weeks, even months and years.
The longer you feel anxiety, the worse it becomes. It can affect your daily life, and even your physical health. This type of anxiety is actually a disorder, and it affects more than 40 million adults in America.
If you always feel under the weather, you could be suffering from anxiety. Keep reading to answer the question Am I sick, or is it anxiety?
Can Stress Make You Sick
The short answer: yes. Stress can cause many physical symptoms and illnesses. Stress is a biological response to intense situations. When we experience stress, it causes our body to release hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. When stress is chronic, cortisol levels stay elevated and if this is experienced for the long-term, it can contribute to a host of problems. If youre suffering from chronic stress, you run the risk of developing a slew of ailments such as:
- high blood pressure
- not being able to concentrate or focus
- mood swings
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