A certain amount of stress can actually make life more interesting.

We tend to work faster and be more focused when there is some stress. But increase the level of stress too much, and we start to suffer.

Too much stress causes problems

Performance declines ... whether it is on the job, caring for family or studying for a qualification. We can also start to experience a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms, many of which are unpleasant, inconvenient or worrying. Some of these you probably know about, like headaches for example. Others are less well-known like:

  • Tingling in the face or extremities
  • A feeling of strangeness or unreality as if you are outside your body.
  • Poor concentration and short-term memory.

All of these are examples of how stress can manifest itself physically, but there are emotional consequences too. You might find yourself wanting to withdraw socially or become frightened. You might start losing confidence when doing something that you have done a great many times before without apparent problem.

Stress overload

If a bucket of water represents an individual's stress, and if the overflow of the bucket represents emotional illness, it may not matter too much whether the final cupful which causes overflow comes from home or work.

Workplace problems include

  • relationship issues
  • work problems
  • poor management
  • loneliness and isolation
  • management expectations
  • redundancy and retirement
  • balance of work and home life
  • anger management
  • victimisation
  • envy and jealousy
  • anxiety
  • abuse
  • sexual harrassment