The APA Help Center describes chronic stress as “unrelenting demands and the pressures for seemingly interminable period of time.” Chronic stress is stress that wears you down day after day and year after year, with no visible escape. It grinds away at both mental and physical health, leading to breakdown and even death.
Common causes of chronic stress include:
-Poverty and financial worries
-Dysfunctional family relationships
-Caring for a chronically ill family member
-Feeling trapped in unhealthy relationships or career choices
-Living in an area besieged by war, ethnic rivalry, or criminal violence
-Bullying or harassment
Severe stress reactions that are the result of a traumatic event or an intense experience such as an accident, hospitalization, loss, or participation in combat can persist for long periods of time and recur without warning. What doctors have come to label post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition in which the stress reactions don’t subside, the body doesn’t regain its equilibrium, and life doesn’t return to normal. This is a serious disorder that requires professional intervention.