Psychiatry Associates Blog

How Does Cumulative Stress Affect Anxiety?

cumulative stress.jpegYou’ve experienced a few stressful events recently, and although they are now past, you still are not feeling quite like yourself.  Perhaps you find that you are always fatigued, frequently irritable, or are unable to allow yourself to relax.  You’re worried about the next possible event and imagining scenarios in which things could go wrong.  If this experience sounds familiar, there is a strong likelihood that you are suffering from anxiety triggered by cumulative stress.

What is Cumulative Stress?

Everyone experiences stressful life events from time to time, but when multiple events occur within a relatively short period of time, the prolonged stress can lead to negative consequences that stick around long after they should. 

In most cases, stressful events are isolated occurrences.  They may temporarily deplete health and energy, but time will generally allow for a full recovery.  However, when these events are not isolated, they can continue to drain the sufferer without breaking for much-needed recuperation.  Such events may include the loss of a loved one, losing a job, relocating, or the birth of a child.  Any event, whether positive or negative, that has a large impact on the individual’s life is a potential stressor and too many at once can be hard on mental health.

Who Experiences Anxiety from Cumulative Stress?

Stress impacts each individual differently.  What may be particularly difficult for one person to cope with could be largely unproblematic for another.  Such differences not only impact the reaction to any given stressful event, they also play a role in the development of an anxiety disorder as a result of stress. 

It is believed that anxiety develops from a combination of both environmental and biological factors and that it affects as many as 1 in 4 people in their lifetime.  Those who develop anxiety can be of any age or gender.  However, more women tend to suffer from anxiety than men.  In short, anxiety disorders from cumulative stress can happen to anyone but are more likely in those who are female or biologically predisposed.

Treating Anxiety from Cumulative Stress

For those who have experienced an accumulation of stressors resulting in anxiety, treatment can be the determining factor in how quickly a feeling of normalcy may be restored.  Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are specialists in the treatment of mental health disorders, including all forms of anxiety.  When such a problem arises, these are the physicians best suited for care.

Typical treatment of anxiety can involve the use of prescription medications, most often antidepressants.  These drugs which include brands such as Zoloft and Lexapro may be marketed for depression but are also quite effective for addressing the troubling symptoms that accompany anxiety.  In addition to these, a physician may recommend other treatments such as psychotherapy to help patients better cope with their disorder both now and in the future.

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, contact Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge, and request an appointment with one of our board-certified psychiatrists.  With thorough and thoughtful care, our physicians can quickly help you begin to feel like yourself again.

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Topics: Anxiety disorders