Types of Stress 

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Acute Stress

This relates to demands and pressures in the recent past or anticipated future, eg a trip to the dentist, an interview, crashing the car, moving house.  It also helps you compete in a race, perform in a play, focus on a work deadline etc.
Its ffine in doses that we can manage but if we overdo it we start to experience symptoms of stress such as tension headaches, digestive problems, muscular tension, palpitations, irritability, anxiety, depression.
Recognising and doing something about handling acute stress is very beneficial, before this builds up into more serious long term stress.
 

Episodic Stress

This is lots of acute stress - life is chaotic, always busy or doing too much, can't say 'no', late for everything, can't get organised, always in a hurry, abrupt, irritable, workaholic, perhaps constant worrying. May also be when a lot has gone on, as when you have a really busy year or one with a lot of change in it. Symptoms include tension headaches, chest pains, hypertension etc.
Sometimes people in this category struggle with managing their stress as they may have come to blame others for their problems or be resistant to change (potentially what has led to it building up in the ffirst place).
For people in this category doing something about their stress is very important, both to alleviate painful symptoms, but also because not doing anything can lead to more serious complaints such as cardiac problems.


Chronic Stress

Stress that has been going on for a long time but it feels very different to episodic stress (although it can be a result of episodic stress not dealt with turning into illness accompanied by chronic pain). This is the deep rooted family problems, working in a job you hate, low self esteem, feeling poverty, worthlessness. You feel trapped or unable to see a way out.
People in this category may feel like giving up or, because it has gone on so long, may see this as familiar or 'normal'.  Not a healthy state to be in and some action needs to be taken, but people in this group can ffind this difficult. Often significant changes need to be made.


Post Traumatic Stress

This is a result of a specific traumatic event affecting your current life. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, avoiding the issue or activities that remind you of it etc. Usually this requires some specialist help.