The different types of stress.
Everyone talks about stress. Many people would say that they are stressed. In school, I often hear this during exams and deadlines.
When we are stressed, chances are we tend to find a solution. And often, we consult the internet hoping to find immediate relief.
However, stress management may not be easy. It contradicts to what most people would believe.
The reason behind is that there are different types of stress. And each type has a certain degree or level of characteristics, symptoms, and duration. Thus, different treatment approaches are needed.
This article contains different types of stress. Let’s discuss each one.
1. Acute stress
Have you experienced being unprepared to take the exam or the job interview of a major company? Chances are you experienced acute stress.
Acute stress is a common stress that we experience every day. It is a direct result of our daily lives demand that we need to meet.
Acute stress is exciting when the perceived threat is small. In fact, a little stress is challenging. For instance, reporting in front of the class is both stressful and challenging even though you know you can handle it.
But too much of acute stress is exhausting. For example, cramming for exams at the same time beating the deadline for your projects can be too much for you to handle.
In this case, the stress can lead to a more problematic psychological problem.
However, in most cases, acute stress is manageable. And most people seem to have accustomed to this kind of stress. We learn to adjust and anticipate possible situations.
For example, a student may learn to avoid cramming by studying and making his/her projects early. A job applicant may prepare himself for the upcoming interview in advance to gain self-confidence.
In both examples, acute stress is manageable. The good thing about acute stress is that we can only feel it in a short period of time. And because it is short-term it does not have any significant negative impact on the body. Nonetheless, it has several symptoms.
First, a stressed person may experience emotional distress. S/he may be angry, irritable, anxious and depressed.
Secondly, a person may experience some physical pain such as a headache, back pain, muscular tensions, and jaw pain.
Thirdly, the increased blood pressure, heartbeat, heart palpitations, dizziness, cold and sweaty hands, shortage of breath and chest pain may be experienced.
2. Episodic acute stress
Episodic acute stress is one of the types of stress that is found among people who have a distressful life. This type of stress is similar to the first category. Only this is more frequent than the latter.
People who suffer from episodic acute stress tend to be rushing all the time but they always fail to beat the deadline. They also tend to take everything only to find out they can’t handle it.
If untreated, episodic stress can significantly affect one’s skills and daily functioning. S/he may find problems at work and in his/her relationship.
People who suffer episodic acute stress also have physical problems such as migraines, hypertension, headaches and chest pains.
They tend to be hostile to others that may result in relationship deterioration and another form of misunderstanding.
Like treating other types of stress, managing episodic acute stress may involve the care of professionals. And the treatment process may last for months or so.
However, the treatment can be challenging. People with this type of stress are reluctant to undergo change. They believe that there’s nothing wrong with them. The only thing that keeps them in the treatment process is their goal of treating their pain and discomfort.
3. Chronic stress
Chronic stress is another type of stress that often causes the sufferer a burn-out. People who have this kind of stress may feel being confined in a bad situation with no possibility of breaking out.
Such perception leads them to chronic depression.
There are many reasons why an individual experience this stress. Most of the time, the main causes are health issues, alcohol drinking, unhappy marriage, violence, and discriminations.
However, some causes of chronic stress involve negative childhood experiences. It could be maltreatment, child abuse, and other traumatic events that a person may still live in.
Chronic stress can kill. Many sufferers ended up killing themselves. The common result of this stress is suicide, stroke, heart attack, violence, and sometimes cancer.
Chronic stress can also be hard to treat. It requires the help of professionals. The common treatment is the combination of medical, behavioral, and stress management.
4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a stress caused by any frightening or traumatic events. The common experiences can be childhood maltreatment, poverty, violence, wars, etc.
The post-traumatic disorder is often found among soldiers who have prior war experiences and with those who experienced catastrophic events.
For instance, after the September 11 attack, more Americans were diagnosed with PTSD.
People who have PTSD may experience flashbacks of the traumatic event which causes trouble in sleeping. Furthermore, people with PTSD may also feel guilt, depression, emotional indifference, and worry.
Like other types of stress, PTSD can have a negative impact on one’s daily functioning. A person can’t be effective in a workplace due to the prevailing symptoms. In fact, in some cases, people with PTSD have problems with their intimate relationship and social connection.
Stress is not always bad. It can, sometimes, make us effective. However, people have different responses to stressful events. Thus, the symptoms can be different from one person to another.
One of the best ways to stay away from stress is to remain active and have better social connections. Many studies found that social interactions can make us happy.
However, when you experience physical symptoms of any types of stress such as headaches, muscle, insomnia, and back pain, find professional help.
Stress can be a burden if you don’t share it with others. People who have poor social connection find it hard to recover from depression. While people who communicate with their loved ones more often have better emotional and psychological health.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.