This April, some people aren’t thinking about stress – the crazy snows of winter are just about gone, flowers are blooming and temperatures are rising. But with these positive changes comes a responsibility to recognize the importance of stress and how it affects people’s health. Federal Occupational Health (FOH) has deemed April National Stress Awareness Month, and together, everyone can help raise awareness for stress, its causes and how it can be managed.
The medical definition of stress is “a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.”1 Stress can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), and it causes a wide range of symptoms, ranging from the physical (chest pain, fatigue, muscle tremors) to the emotional (anxiety, restlessness, depression).2 And while acute stress is a natural feeling to experience, chronic stress has been linked to increased instances of health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Stress is experienced by people of all ages, genders and backgrounds – below is what the PatientsLikeMe community is saying about how stress affects them:
“Stress is beyond anything I have ever faced in my life. My tremors all completely out of control. I feel like it is getting too hard to handle. Could I have moved a stage up because of all the stress?”
“Stress is definitely a killer for me! It multiplies my [fibromyalgia] symptoms by many times and I am extremely stress sensitive. I was a victim of prolonged stress (I have been under a lot of pressure (stress) for over 20 years) and I am convinced that’s why I developed [fibromyalgia].”
“I have been dealing with so much stress and anxiety that I have been sick with severe stomach pain, I can’t eat, don’t want nothing to drink. I am just so worn out.”
-Mental health member
This April, visit FOH’s website to learn more about getting involved in raising stress awareness. And don’t forget to share your experiences with stress on social media via the #stressawareness hashtag.
And if you’re living with stress and looking to connect with others who know what you’re going through, join PatientsLikeMe and add your thoughts to the discussions on stress.
Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word for National Stress Awareness Month.