Warning Signs of Dangerous Stress Exposure

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach


Below are the warning signs and symptoms that become noticeable in an individual who has been negatively impacted by dangerous levels of psychological stress. This is most commonly seen after they experience a high stress situation at work, in their personal life, or after intensified or concentrated exposure to high conflict, elevated tension or repetitive and stressful situations, which could include media overload from viewing crisis events.



PHYSICAL

Fatigue
Sweating
Shortness of breath
Loss or increase of appetite
Nausea or Diarrhea

Elevated blood pressure
Tightness in chest or chest pain
Muscle fatigue or weakness
Insomnia or Hyper-somnia
Increased cold or flu symptoms

Pacing
Heart Palpitations
Shallow breathing
Fainting
Abdominal pain




EMOTIONAL

Anger
Stress
Anxiety
Tension
Apathy

Fear
Panic
Guilt
Uneasiness
Alarm

Numb inside
Impatience
Depression
Shame
Nervousness

Grief
Loss
Irritability
Apprehension
Overwhelmed




BEHAVIORAL

Restlessness
Impulsive
Avoidance
Edgy
Rapid speech

Tense muscles/neck
Easily startled or jumpy
Hyper-vigilance
Withdrawal from others
Accident proneness

Anti-social acts
Inability to rest
Intensified pacing
Increased use of alcohol
Increased use of caffeine




COGNITIVE

Easily Distracted
Poor concentration
Forgetfulness
Errors in judgment
Mental Fog

Decreased decision making
Reduced creativity or mental focus
Diminished productivity
Loss of objectivity
Self-consciousness

Confusion
Fear of losing control
Frightening visual images
Fear of injury, death, pain
Flashbacks-nightmares




The more warning indicators that are identified in a single category or across multiple categories, the more that person may be over-exposed to dangerous levels of psychological distress. Some of these stress-related conditions are quite common, so if only one or two symptoms are present, it is not usually a cause for alarm. However, when in doubt it’s best to review any symptoms that concern you or someone you care about with an experienced mental health professional at the LifeWorks Group. 407-647-7005.

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