Constant exposure to high levels of stress over a long period of time may cause a person to develop chronic stress, also known as toxic stress. This constant and persistent form of negative stress never seems to subside and is exhausting. It can be caused by a person’s environment, medical problems, or systemic factors.
People may experience chronic stress if they live in an abusive home or a dangerous area. Chronic stress is often a problem for people with disabilities or serious health issues, and it can also affect caregivers. Residential instability and financial insecurity are other common factors.
Chronic stress can make you feel hopeless. When stressors never seem to subside, it can be hard to imagine that the situation will improve. Constant stress can be overwhelming and interfere with the ability to complete daily tasks.
Signs of chronic stress
Chronic stress can be extremely harmful to your physical and mental health. If you suffer from chronic stress, you may experience:
- Significant weight gain or loss
- weak immune system
- Headache and migraine
- low sex drive
- Fertility problems
- feelings of despair
- low self-esteem
The effect of chronic stress
When we feel stressed, our bodies naturally release stress hormones that make us more alert. While this can be beneficial in the short term, it can be extremely harmful for anyone suffering from chronic stress. Health problems are associated with all kinds of stress, but studies showed that people with chronic stress are more likely to develop serious health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or stroke.
Over time, chronic stress can change Brain size and structure. Not only can this lead to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction, but it can also increase the risk of developing mental health conditions in the future. Even if chronic stressors are resolved, some people continue to experience symptoms of stress.
Chronic stress can also introduce new sources of stress into a person’s life. long-term stress It can weaken your immune systemThis makes you more likely to catch colds, viruses, or other illnesses. People with this negative pressure often have trouble maintaining healthy relationships with others.