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Stress

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Whether you’re the school kid who’s revised for the wrong exam, the driver stuck in traffic with a plane to catch or Tony Blair realising that no weapons of mass destruction are ever going to materialise, we’ve all felt stress at some point in our lives (with the possible exception of Judith Chalmers). Stress is that feeling we get when under pressure or in an intense environment. It might be an increasing workload that causes it or a simple trip on the tube at peak time either way you really don’t want too much of it. Whilst a little bit of stress can boost your enthusiasm and help you got that extra mile to achieve your goals too much of it over a prolonged period can cause some seriously negative effects on your health. Stress is actually the main cause of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression but can also lead to a whole host of more noticeable symptoms including body odour, erectile dysfunction, bad skin, dandruff and psoriasis as well as anger, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.

Additionally stress is one of the main causes of sexual dysfunction. Stress isn’t simply an abstract concept; we can measure it by the quantities of stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline which get released when we’re in high pressure situations. Whilst for most of us stress will subside as deadlines are met and situations resolved some may need to consider counselling, stress management or medication to help them through.

Many people find that exercises such as yoga can help to alleviate stress. You can watch a yoga video tutorial to help relieve stress here >

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi, I'm 15 and lately I'm becoming extremely angry very quickly , if someone does something that annoys me slightly it will agitate me a lot and the only way I cope with it is too ignore everything and breath in and out or shout at the person which I feel bad for after, I'm also struggling to sleep and when I do sleep I wake up quite often. What should I do?





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I have the same issue. I talked to a doctor and was put on an SSRI. It helps me a lot.

Hi I am under a lot of stress at the moment and I am to scared to go to my doctors for help. Everyday I am with my partner and every day me and my partner have anagreymant and I am scared that one day I am going to lose him over my stress please help me





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I have been suffering from a lot of stress and a couple of weeks ago I woke up and did, nt know were I was who my partner was or that I had 2 kids since then my memory not been very good I have been to the doctors and he put it down to stress and gave me some tablets to take but some of my family and friends have said I might of had a mild stroke before I go to see my GP I just wanted to know if this is true





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I have had three episodes of breakdowns and first one at 15 abused went into hospital. Calm and green areas to walk eventually I came round. Second divorce. Almost catatonic. Sitting in snow not noticing awake but not there. Putting things on stoves forgetting dangerous things. Third one when Cdnt cope with children anymore too removed from second one still silent and alone . Counselling to make me talk to stop crying. Group therapy. Relaxation techniques. Took a couple of years. Did access course took degree. Got it. Life was fab. Then accident Damaged spine knees and took fourteen years to stand up get life back. All the techniques I learnt helped me. Unfortunately partner is now giving me extreme stress not here I'm alone again. Woman again in background. Feeling anxious not sleeping can't sit still. Losing weight, not hungry, listless, feel I've lost my sense. Now I'm going counselling don't want to b so low again. Thought about ending it all hurts u see ,to think I can't cope but I'm in touch with docs appointment made. I will not go too low again can't go there. I feel for you all. But stay strong u can live study have a life. Too much makes u anxious then depression. Catch it when u realise you're crying for what seems no reason. Catch it when u feel desolate or your staring into space for no reason. Or, shallow breathing without realising. U need help. Go b4 too late. I didn't last two times it gets to b a long way back. It's pressure not madness it's the need to b understood in your own time, to know thinking correctly about something that seems immense troubling confusing unreasonable. Coping mechanisms work relaxation, crafting painting mostly walking in countryside works for me. I need to show annoyance but depression starts to dull it down to an almost passive state into which I'm falling. Back to get help. 45 years I have had this. Physical illness I cd fight. Stress on emotional level is hard and not within my remit, past a certain level. Disappointment constantly imposed is leading me back to counselling it's required now to help deal with issues forced upon my psyche. From calmness came bombardment of others opinions until my thoughts r disappearing. I'm becoming what I know now is wrong a shadow of passivity, a shadow deprived of what people believe I am and should be. Not illness physically. Mentally , games, stresses ,comments innuendos, wear a person down. The uncertainty of calm returning, normality without pain stress anxiousness. Not wanting to put up with this just wanting to b alive again. If you feel like this it's time like for me to reach for help. I do not have anyone else 25 yrs together and now I'm living with someone who scares me. Why I have no idea. Strange how one person tries to manipulate or force another person to believe what the say is gospel. Indian giver with affection if ur good u will get this if not it's removed. Holidays etc lack of money. They have power. Strange I would not do it to him. Why ok when children gone is it ok to try it out on me Why is it ok to feel threatened. It's not. Scary. .. Why is it ok to tell u what he's having Who he is having dinner with. I'm shocked. I know I have been tricked. Money talks. Not all the time I want to say. Helps but life balance too please. Making me so stressed and anxious leads to my depression. I hope counselling is not too long I'm coming now for help. U too if u feel any of this and if there's no one to talk to. They will do it for u. Build your thoughts n powers back with tiny steps sometimes draining but they work. Who knew??? Deep breAths dive in. Come on in





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I'm doing my gcse's at the moment and during all of my mocks my arms and hands became incredibly itchy and I ended up coming out of each exam with red arms and hands and I don't understand why!! I also have a lot of paranoia about failing everything and its always running through my head that I'm going to fail. I feel really depressed in a lot of my lessons and I'm finding it really hard to focus and on top of that I find it hard to get to sleep until 12-1 am everyday and as a consiquence of that I find it hard to get up in the mornings and am tired throughout the day...do I need help?





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I recently realised that my life is good, I have a sturdy job, I'm in a stable relationship with a supportive boyfriend (we're trying to move in together) and I even have a lovely pet dog. We've got holidays planned and my finances are in order but for some reason I'm in a constant state of panic. I shake a lot, I don't sleep very well because I have nightmares all the time and I keep crying. I should be happy but if I'm alone with my thoughts for any length of time I turn into a complete wreck! And it's just getting worse. As I said I should be happy but the smallest of things can send me into a highly emotional state. Is it all in my head? Should I be worried? Or not so worried?





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No you shouldn't be worried, this isn't completely uncommon either. I used to be the same way i would shake alot too! You just have anxiety, what i tried to do is talk to myself and try to forget about the bad things! Shut them off! Do some house work or write yourself a little story, something that will take your mind off these bad thoughts!

I get this a lot but this last month I have split with my partner of six years and my son was in hospital Ill and now my mums ill finding it so hard to cope this month :(





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Sounds like you're having a hard time. Even the strongest of people would struggle with what you're going through and it's perfectly normal to feel stressed and anxious at this time. What I will say is you don't have to go through it alone. Confiding in friends and family will help but you can also request professional help and 1 to 1 or group chats with people who can help from your gp. If you can't cope don't try and go it alone.

Having just read all of your comments, I am relieved to hear it is not just me. We all have moments throughout our lives that leave us desperate and without the ability to cope (so we think). It is easy for others to say 'you are a good person, you can do this' but we don't believe. We know at some level we have the strength and character to challenge life, but we've forgotten how. I refer to Alice in Wonderland in that I have lost my ...'my muchness'. I will find her again, I believe I will. It's just a bit of a slog beforehand. Keep going all out there, I believe in you x





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I have had depression all my life and I am now 61, it has been diagnosed as anxiety. I am an insomniac and spent time in hospital as I did not sleep for 5 days and nights, I thought my body would give out but my brain went first and I started to hallucinate. I spent 4 days in hospital and I caused a few problems, is there any help out there.





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Hi I'm 13 an I feel stressed all th Time some times I feel of self harming can u help me please





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I used to feel exactly the same way, i wouldn't talk to family or friends about it, but once i had it was like a weight off of my shoulders and it really helped maybe you could try to too!


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Stress affects different people in different ways, and everyone has a different method of dealing with it. Read More »

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