Stress Center

Stress Diagnosis

If you are suffering from stress, you may experience many symptoms that prompt you to see your doctor.  This is a good thing.  When the stress response goes on for too long hormones weaken the immune system's ability to fight disease and you can get sick.  This is why it is important to diagnose and to begin to manage stress early.   Unhealthy levels of stress can cause more serious problems over time.  The earlier stress is identified and treated, the quicker you can start feeling better.

Medical exams
There is no one specific test that doctors use to diagnose stress. Typically, your family doctor can perform a variety of tests to rule out various medical conditions.  These may include:

  • A personal and family health history
  • Blood tests, including testing for elevated insulin levels
  • Urine tests
  • Other laboratory tests

Mental health exam
In some people, what may seem like ongoing stress is actually depression.   This is why your doctor should also evaluate your mental state to determine if you may be suffering from a depressive or anxiety disorder. Symptoms associated with stress typically subside when the stress triggering them subsides. When these same symptoms are caused by depression or another mood disorder, however, they may not go away without medication or therapy.  Rest assured that depression is a biological illness and results from an imbalance of hormones and nerve chemicals and is a highly treatable condition.

Possible signs of depression include:

  • Anti-social behavior - not wanting to be around other people
  • Constant irritability
  • Frequent feelings of anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Weight loss

Stressful events are a fact of life. And although you might not change your current situation, you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you. You can learn to identify and control stresses that trigger reactions.  You can also take care of yourself physically and emotionally during stressful situations.  To learn more about how stress reduction techniques for stress management, continue reading the Stress Management Techniques section that follows.

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