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Could You Spot the Silent Symptoms of Stress?
  • Posted May 4, 2024

Could You Spot the Silent Symptoms of Stress?

The silent symptoms of stress can be easily overlooked, but they're important to recognize to protect one's mental health, experts say.

Visible symptoms of stress are fairly obvious – irritability, anger, impatience, muscle tension.

“You may not be able to hide those for a long time. Immediately, people will notice it – family, friends and co-workers,” Dr. Asim Shah, chief of community psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a news release.

But the silent symptoms of stress might take months to be noticeable, Shah said.

“If you are isolated and alone, no one may notice except for you,” Shah said.

While some stress in life is normal, monitoring silent symptoms is important. If they grow worse over time or start interfering with daily life, it might be a sign you need the help of a mental health professional, Shah said.

“The silent symptoms of stress can be when people lose interest with their life. They'll stop doing the things they once enjoyed,” Shah said. “They will get anxious, nervous or afraid and avoid things they used to do because they are overwhelmed and overburdened by it.”  

Other silent stress symptoms include weight loss or weight gain, purposely pulling out one's hair, or biting one's nails.

To manage stress, Shah recommends first starting with physical activity and relaxation techniques.

“You can try meditation, deep breathing exercises or spend quality time with family and friends,” Shah said. “For physical activity, go for a walk, play a sport you love or participate in yoga or tai chi.”

More information

The World Health Organization has more on stress.

SOURCE: Baylor College of Medicine, news release, April 19, 2024

What This Means for You:

People should pay attention to subtle signs of stress, so that they can best tend to their own mental health.

HealthDay
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