Different Kinds of Stress

Stress manifests in people in different forms. There is Acute, Episodic acute, and chronic stress.

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. Acute stress happens to almost everyone some of the time. This type of stress is brought upon by recent demands or anticipated pressure. It is often easily managed and highly treatable.

Acute stress is often short lived; it often goes away as quickly as it comes on. This type of stress is usually recognized as it is happening such as when rushing to meet a deadline, involvement in a fender bender, or when looking for a lost item.

Some symptoms of acute stress may be seen in emotional responses such as anger or irritability, physical symptoms may include tension headache, muscle tightness, rapid heartbeat or stomach upset. Fortunately since the both the causes and effects are short lived acute stress does not cause long term or extensive problems.

Episodic Acute Stress

There are those that are always taking on too much, often aggressive, usually running late and always in a hurry. They appear to always be in a state of acute stress. This type of stress is called episodic acute stress.

The major difference between the two is that those suffering from episodic acute stress are not aware of the problem. These are the ones that would most benefit from stress management; yet seem to always be taking on more and more responsibilities and dont recognize it as stress rather just accept it as who they are as if this type of behavior was ingrained in their person.

The term type A personality is often used to describe these individuals who constantly appear to be in a state of acute stress. They are often chronic worriers as well. While those who suffer this type of stress may often appear hostile or angry, they are most often anxious and depressed.

Symptoms of this type of stress may be persistent headaches, including migraines, chest pain, hypertension and possibly even heart disease. Chronic stress is the most serious, and harmful type of stress. This type of stress is the kind that seems unending and wears away at a person day after day.


Chronic stress is often the result of ones lifestyle such as a difficult or dysfunctional family, poverty, unhappiness in a relationship, dissatisfaction with a career, or long term unemployment. Some chronic stress is a result of trauma or early childhood experiences that one was never able to get over so they became internalized.

Chronic stress affects personality, mental, emotional and physical state, and overall health. Those affected by chronic stress would be most benefited by employing natural methods of stress management everyday yet unfortunately one of the worst aspects of chronic stress is that people get used to living that way while it takes its toll on the mind and body.

Chronic stress can lead to death by suicide, heart failure, violence, stroke and even cancer. Some signs and symptoms of stress include anger, anxiety, depression, confusion, poor judgment, headaches, muscle ache, fatigue, and digestive problems; eating too much or too little, sleep problems, poor decision-making, and nervous habits.