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.

Though there is 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.

Stress is the brain’s reaction to excessive pressure or high demands. Emotional and mental health related symptoms include depressed mood, irritable and aggressive mood, sleep disturbances, anxiety, fear, and withdrawn behaviours/social detachment.