Stress - Causes
This section covers:
What causes stress?
Different things can cause stress. If you know what makes you stressed you can find ways of reducing it.
A situation or event could make you stressed. Below are some examples of things than can cause stress. This does not cover everything that makes someone stressed.
- Not having a job
- Not sleeping well
- Money worries
- Work problems
- Being bullied
- Problems looking after children
- Health issues
- Family or relationship problems
- Not having a routine
- Getting married or divorced
- Being diagnosed with an illness
- Moving house
- Having a job interview
- Someone close to you passing away
- Being evicted from your home
- Leaving hospital after a long stay
- Going to court
- Going to a benefits assessment
How your thoughts can affect stress
Stress affects everyone in different ways. It can depend on your personality, upbringing, your work or home life and other things. Some people are more affected by stress than others. For example, you might put a lot of pressure on yourself because you think you should be able to do things you can’t.
Worrying about a problem can sometimes be helpful. It might make us plan how to resolve an issue. But sometimes we can focus on the negatives. We may worry about things that might never happen or that we cannot change. This kind of worrying can lead to stress.
Are stress and mental illness linked?
The effect of mental illness on stress
If you have a mental illness this may lead to stress. This could be because you:
- have to give up work because you are unwell,
- spend too much money when you were unwell and get into debt,
- are discharged from mental health services but don’t feel ready,
- don’t get on well with your doctor, care coordinator, or anyone else involved in your care,
- are worried about how long it will take you to recover from your illness, or
- are worried about side effects if you are taking medication.
The effect of stress on mental illness
If you have a mental health condition stress can make the symptoms of your illness worse. This can make it more likely that you will become unwell.
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can lead to you becoming unwell. For example, if stress lasts for a long time it can lead to anxiety and depression. Experiencing a very stressful or traumatic event could cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in some cases.
Many people use alcohol or drugs to relax and forget about their problems or cope with stress. However, using alcohol or drugs in this way is only a short term solution. It can make your mental health a lot worse in the long run.
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