What should I know about physical changes and disease caused by stress?
When a person experiences stress, the body gets ready to react quickly and fight off the stress. Some of the changes that occur are:
- The heart starts beating faster.
- The blood pressure goes up.
- A person breathes faster.
- Digestion slows down.
Stress that goes on for a long time can lead to the physical signs common in anxiety and depression, like headache, intestinal problems, and lack of energy. Over time, stress can also cause illness, like high blood pressure that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
In many places, emotional problems are not considered as important as physical problems. When this happens, people may be more likely to have physical signs of anxiety and depression than other signs. While it is important not to ignore physical signs, it is important to also be sensitive to the emotional causes of illness.