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We have all at some point in our lives felt the effects of stress, it is an unavoidable part of life. Whilst we are all familiar with what it feels like, we may struggle to accurately define what we mean when we say stress.
This is unsurprising as stress is not officially an illness in itself and has no medical definition. This has led to disagreement amongst healthcare professionals regarding whether stress itself can be responsible for symptoms or is solely a reaction to symptoms. There tends to be agreement in mental health fields that stress can cause mental health problems and be the result of mental health problems, which can unfortunately create a vicious cycle for the sufferer.
When looking to provide a broad definition of stress, we can say that stress is the brain’s reaction to excessive pressure or high demands. This can be both the result of a physical demand or a more emotionally based demand.