Causes of Stress
A lot of things can cause
stress. You may feel stress when you go on a job
interview, take a test, or run a race. These kinds of short-term stress are
normal. Long-term (chronic) stress is caused by stressful situations or events
that last over a long period of time, like problems at work or conflicts in
your family. Over time, chronic stress can lead to severe health problems.
Personal problems that can cause stress
- Your health, especially
if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease,
- Emotional problems, such as anger you can't express, depression, grief, guilt, or
- Your relationships, such as
having problems with your relationships or feeling a lack of friendships or
support in your life
- Major life changes, such as dealing with
the death of a parent or spouse, losing your job, getting married, or moving to
a new city
- Stress in your family, such as
child, teen, or other family member who is under
stress, or being a caregiver to a family member who is elderly or who has
- Conflicts with your beliefs and values.
For example, you may value family life, but you may not be able to spend as
much time with your family as you want.
Social and job issues that can cause
- Your surroundings. Living in an area where
overcrowding, crime, pollution, or noise is a problem can create chronic
- Your social situation. Being poor, feeling lonely, or facing discrimination
based on your race, gender, age, or sexual orientation can add stress to your
- Your job. Being unhappy with your
work or finding your job too demanding can lead to chronic stress. Learn how to
manage job stress.
- Unemployment. Losing your job or not being able to find work can also add to your stress level.
You may need help dealing
with stress if you have faced a life-threatening or traumatic event such as
rape, a natural disaster, or war. These events can cause
acute stress disorder or
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more
information, see the topic
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
April 20, 2011
©1995-2012, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information,
How this information was developed.