How Does Stress Affect Health?
Stress will affect health of anybody in the long run. The health effects usually only show after a period with stress in your life - in other words; the short, helpful bursts of stress we all have will not (in general) leave a mark on your health.
This page is about how stress in general will affect health. People are different, so we will experience different health effects when stressed. There are also general physical health effects of stress and common psychological effects of stress.
After a period of stress, the most common health effects are
- Weight gain or loss
- Immune system decline
- Sexual performance decreases
- Decreased lifespan
It is important to understand that nobody can say exactly when
stress will affect health in somebody or when these effects will be noticeable to you - it depends on many factors such as your stress tolerance and the number of stressors in your life.
It is also important to understand that these health effects do not come suddenly. It can take many years for some to be able to notice these effects; again it all depends on individual things!
Weight gain or loss
These two are the most common. But that could also be because they are the easiest to observe. Some may react to prolonged stress by eating more than their system needs; this is known as stress eating
. Others may not eat enough! If you are underweight, or have lost weight during the last 6 months to 2 years, there is a chance that it can be an effect of stress in your life and that that stressor will affect your health..
Declining Immune System
After a while with an unhealthy stress level, your body uses up its resources. The immune system can no longer fight infections as effectively because the stress response in the long run drains the body. You will get colds more often and feel tired more often - even you wounds do not heal as quickly!
Sexual performance decreases
Your sexual drive falls if you are stressed out. Your libido is a precious thing and I think everybody should do everything they can to "keep the juices flowing" as they say.
The truth is that sex is a good stress reliever too. So if your desire for sex has dropped to near zero one way could be just to force it. Sex is a powerful tool. It is so important for the quality of life that it should not be dropped on the floor.
Don't let a loss of "appetite" affect health in neither you nor your partner!
Depression and Other Mental Problems
This is one of the saddest health effects of stress. The slow killer
. Depression is a disease that can be very hard to get rid of and many struggle with it through the entire life.
If you think you may have a depression, talk to your doctor - there are many effective treatment options. When you and your physician have the disease under control, come back to this site and learn more about stress and more about how stress affect health!
It all amounts to a decreased lifespan if you are stressed. It's not the stress that decreases lifespan but the stress related diseases
and all the negative health effects of stress that follows it.