Stress-Anxiety-Depression

All LUSU Vital Essence products have been created with your utmost health and wellness in mind. We truly believe that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put into your body. 

Science, and experience for many. have proven that stress, anxiety, and depression have many adverse effects on and in our bodies, many of which can be devastating to our overall mental, psychological, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

That's why we've decided to share some information with you regarding stress, anxiety, and depression. Once you have an understanding of the seriousness of each we believe you will have a deeper appreciation of the myriad benefits of our product offerings. So review these infographics, share with others, and use the info to make the necessary adjustments in your lifestyle.

For detailed info, see our infographic slideshow below

Understanding Stress-Anxiety-Depression

Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes

Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price

What is stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”

The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident.

Stress can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and your quality of life.

When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed up your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody

  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control

  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind

  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed

  • Avoiding others

 

Physical symptoms of stress include:

 

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying

  • Racing thoughts

  • Forgetfulness and disorganization

  • Inability to focus

  • Poor judgment

  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

 

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much

  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities

  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes

  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

 

The effects of chronic stress

Your nervous system isn’t very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats.

And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.

If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in today’s demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:

  1. Depression and anxiety

  2. Pain of any kind

  3. Sleep problems

  4. Autoimmune diseases

  5. Digestive problems

  6. Skin conditions, such as eczema

  7. Heart disease

  8. Weight problems

  9. Reproductive issues

  10. Thinking and memory problems

  11. Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders

  12. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke

  13. Obesity and other eating disorders

  14. Menstrual problems

  15. Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women

  16. Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss

  17. Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

 

Causes of stress

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you can be stressful.

Of course, not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be internal or self-generated.

Common external causes of stress include:

  • Major life changes

  • Work or school

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Financial problems

  • Being too busy

  • Children and family

 

Common internal causes of stress include:

  • Pessimism

  • Inability to accept uncertainty

  • Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility

  • Negative self-talk

  • Unrealistic expectations / perfectionism

  • All-or-nothing attitude

Anxiety

People with anxiety can experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms.

 

The most common include:

  • feeling nervous, tense, or fearful

  • restlessness

  • panic attacks, in severe cases

  • a rapid heart rate

  • fast breathing, or hyperventilation

  • sweating

  • shaking

  • fatigue

  • weakness

  • dizziness

  • difficulty concentrating

  • sleep problems

  • nausea

  • digestive issues

  • feeling too cold or too hot

  • chest pain

 

Some anxiety disorders have additional symptoms. For example, OCD also causes:

  • obsessive thoughts

  • compulsive behaviors that aim to reduce the anxiety caused by the thoughts

  • periods of temporary relief, which follow the compulsive behaviors

 

Effects of anxiety on the body

Anxiety can have a significant effect on the body, and long-term anxiety increases the risk of developing chronic physical conditions.

The medical community suspects that anxiety develops in the amygdala, an area of the brain that manages emotional responses.

When a person becomes anxious, stressed, or frightened, the brain sends signals to other parts of the body. The signals communicate that the body should prepare to fight or flee.

The body responds, for example, by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, which many describe as stress hormones.

The fight or flight response is useful when confronting an aggressive person, but it is less helpful when going for a job interview or giving a presentation. Also, it is not healthy for this response to persist in the long term.

Some of the ways that anxiety affects the body include:

 

Breathing and respiratory changes

During periods of anxiety, a person's breathing may become rapid and shallow, which is called hyperventilation.

Hyperventilation allows the lungs to take in more oxygen and transport it around the body quickly. Extra oxygen helps the body prepare to fight or flee.

Hyperventilation can make people feel like they are not getting enough oxygen and they may gasp for breath. This can worsen hyperventilation and its symptoms, which include:

  • dizziness

  • feeling faint

  • lightheadedness

  • tingling

  • weakness

 

Cardiovascular system response

Anxiety can cause changes to the heart rate and the circulation of blood throughout the body.

A faster heart rate makes it easier to flee or fight, while increased blood flow brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.

When blood vessels narrow, this is called vasoconstriction, and it can affect body temperature. People often experience hot flashes as a result of vasoconstriction.

In response, the body sweats to cool down. This can sometimes be too effective and make a person feel cold.

Long-term anxiety may not be good for the cardiovascular system and heart health. Some studies suggest that anxiety increases the risk of heart diseases in otherwise healthy people.

Impaired immune function

In the short-term, anxiety boosts the immune system's responses. However, prolonged anxiety can have the opposite effect.

Cortisol prevents the release of substances that cause inflammation, and it turns off aspects of the immune system that fight infections, impairing the body's natural immune response.

People with chronic anxiety disorders may be more likely to get the common cold, the flu, and other types of infection.

Changes in digestive function

Cortisol blocks processes that the body considers nonessential in a fight or flight situation.

One of these blocked processes is digestion. Also, adrenaline reduces blood flow and relaxes the stomach muscles.

As a result, a person with anxiety may experience nausea, diarrhea, and a feeling that the stomach is churning. They may also lose their appetite.

Research suggests that stress and depression are linked to several digestive diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

One study, of outpatients at a gastroenterology clinic in Mumbai, reported that 30–40 percent of participants with IBS also had anxiety or depression.

Urinary response

Anxiety and stress can increase the need to urinate, and this reaction is more common in people with phobias.

The need to urinate or a loss of control over urination may have an evolutionary basis, as it is easier to flee with an empty bladder.

However, the link between anxiety and an increased urge to urinate remains unclear.

Complications and long-term effects

Having anxiety can lead to long-term negative effects.

 

People with anxiety may experience:

  • depression

  • digestive issues

  • insomnia

  • chronic pain conditions

  • difficulties with school, work, or socializing

  • a loss of interest in sex

  • substance abuse disorders

  • suicidal thoughts

 

 

The effects of anxiety on the body

Anxiety is a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview.

In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is preparing you to face an intense situation.

If it gets too intense, however, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.

Anxiety disorders can happen at any stage of life, but they usually begin by middle age. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, says the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Stressful life experiences may increase your risk for an anxiety disorder, too. Symptoms may begin immediately or years later. Having a serious medical condition or a substance use disorder can also lead to an anxiety disorder.

There are several types of anxiety disorders.

 

They include:

 

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is marked by excessive anxiety for no logical reason. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates GAD affects about 6.8 million American adults a year.

GAD is diagnosed when extreme worry about a variety of things lasts six months or longer. If you have a mild case, you’re probably able to complete your normal day-to-day activities. More severe cases may have a profound impact on your life.

Social anxiety disorder

This disorder involves a paralyzing fear of social situations and of being judged or humiliated by others. This severe social phobia can leave one feeling ashamed and alone.

About 15 million American adults live with social anxiety disorder, notes the ADAA. The typical age at onset is around 13. More than one-third of people with social anxiety disorder wait a decade or more before pursuing help.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD develops after witnessing or experiencing something traumatic. Symptoms can begin immediately or be delayed for years. Common causes include war, natural disasters, or a physical attack. PTSD episodes may be triggered without warning.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

People with OCD may feel overwhelmed with the desire to perform particular rituals (compulsions) over and over again, or experience intrusive and unwanted thoughts that can be distressing (obsessions).

Common compulsions include habitual hand-washing, counting, or checking something. Common obsessions include concerns about cleanliness, aggressive impulses, and need for symmetry.

Phobias

These include fear of tight spaces (claustrophobia), fear of heights (acrophobia), and many others. You may have a powerful urge to avoid the feared object or situation.

Panic disorder

This causes panic attacks, spontaneous feelings of anxiety, terror, or impending doom. Physical symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

These attacks may occur at any time. You can also have another type of anxiety disorder along with panic disorder.

Central nervous system

Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause your brain to release stress hormones on a regular basis. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and depression.

When you feel anxious and stressed, your brain floods your nervous system with hormones and chemicals designed to help you respond to a threat. Adrenaline and cortisol are two examples.

While helpful for the occasional high-stress event, long-term exposure to stress hormones can be more harmful to your physical health in the long run. For example, long-term exposure to cortisol can contribute to weight gain.

Cardiovascular system

Anxiety disorders can cause rapid heart rate, palpitations, and chest pain. You may also be at an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. If you already have heart disease, anxiety disorders may raise the risk of coronary events.

Excretory and digestive systems

Anxiety also affects your excretory and digestive systems. You may have stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Loss of appetite can also occur.

There may be a connection between anxiety disorders and the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after a bowel infection. IBS can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

Immune system

Anxiety can trigger your flight-or-fight stress response and release a flood of chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline, into your system.

In the short term, this increases your pulse and breathing rate, so your brain can get more oxygen. This prepares you to respond appropriately to an intense situation. Your immune system may even get a brief boost. With occasional stress, your body returns to normal functioning when the stress passes.

But if you repeatedly feel anxious and stressed or it lasts a long time, your body never gets the signal to return to normal functioning. This can weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to viral infections and frequent illnesses. Also, your regular vaccines may not work as well if you have anxiety.

Respiratory system

Anxiety causes rapid, shallow breathing. If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may be at an increased risk of hospitalization from anxiety-related complications. Anxiety can also make asthma symptoms worse.

Other effects

Anxiety disorder can cause other symptoms, including:

  • headaches

  • muscle tension

  • insomnia

  • depression

  • social isolation

What Depression Does To Your Body

Recent studies are finding that depression affects a host of disorders, as you’ll note below.


* Headache. Chronic headaches, particularly tension headaches, occur frequently in people with depression and anxiety. They’re most likely caused by contracting the muscles of the scalp and neck, a common physical reaction when you’re under emotional stress.


* Diarrhea and constipation. Anxiety is often linked with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can manifest itself as diarrhea or constipation. Some experts estimate that 60% of people with IBS have a mental health disorder, and about 60% of those have generalized anxiety disorder. It’s possible that anxiety may make you more aware of spasms in your colon or that anxiety affects the immune system and may trigger symptoms of IBS.


* Nausea and vomiting. Nausea (as well as vomiting) may be considered a symptom of mood disorders. One large study found that 41% of people who had major complaints of nausea in the past year were then diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 24% were diagnosed with depression.


* Heart disease. People who become depressed after a heart attack are at increased risk for a second, fatal heart attack, while people without heart disease who become depressed increase their risk of developing or dying of heart disease. The heart-mind link may also include anxiety, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, inflammation, and behavioral issues, as people who are anxious or depressed are less likely to engage in heart-healthy activities like exercising and healthy eating and more prone to weight issues and smoking.


* Osteoporosis. People with major depression often have lower bone mineral density, a measure of the strength of your bones, than those with no mood disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with increased fracture risk, but there’s growing evidence that depression itself may put bones at risk. One theory is that depression may cause increased levels of a neurotransmitter that interferes with bone building.


* High blood pressure. Evidence suggests that chronic anxiety may lead to high blood pressure. Anxiety is likely to produce temporary spikes in blood pressure rather than persistent hypertension. Frequent spikes can damage your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys and increase your risk of a stroke.
 

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