The symptoms of chronic stress are quite diverse. So, chronic stress really occurs in people who’ve been under a lot of pressure for long periods of time. I’m not talking for a day or a week, I’m talking many, many months.
And, usually, when individuals are under that sort of pressure for long periods, they tend to sleep poorly, become irritable, start to feel moody or depressed, their personality changes, and, on occasions, there’s a tendency to use drugs or alcohol as a way of coping.
Enough stress, enough chronic stress for a long period of time can then lead to the development of more serious psychiatric or psychological problems, such as depression or, indeed, anxiety disorders.
Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney