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Stress

Everybody can be affected by stress, and 10% of Danes have symptoms of severe stress every day. 

What is stress?

Stress is a strained condition, which can be caused by a direct and observable external influence, either a sudden and violent external event or prolonged straining changes.

Stress can be transitory and occur acutely (e.g. examination nerves), long lasting or chronic. It is the long-lasting stress in particular, which affects the health. Stress is caused in part on the straining situation itself, but also by your own sensitivity and reaction to demanding situations.

Symptoms

Stress can lead to an increase of the stress hormone cortisol and the fight hormone noradrenalin in the body. The stress hormones cause changes in the body and the brain, and if you have been exposed to stress for a longer period you can become both mentally and physically ill.

Stress can cause a wide range of physical as well as mental and behavioural symptoms, such as: inner anxiety, headaches, rapid heartbeat, stomach pains, impaired potency, weight loss/gain, frequent infections, deterioration of chronic illnesses, tiredness, irritability, memory problems, anxiety, an impaired sense of humor, sleeplessness, lack of involvement, hyperventilation, aggressiveness, reduced performance capability, indecisiveness, increased use of stimulants, increased sickness absence and depression.

Treatment

If you suffer from stress, it is important to listen to yourself and your body and prioritize your tasks and duties. In order to avoid stress, it is necessary to change the things that put a strain on you.

Talk to your doctor, who can help you see the symptoms in the right perspective and advice you about the most suitable solutions. In cases of severe or long-lasting strains, you can be referred to consultations with a psychologist. In addition, it is a good idea to talk to your closest relations and your workplace.

Find more information here: 

National Institute of Mental Health (US)
 The Patient Handbook (in Danish)

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