1. Health

How Stress Can Make You Sick

By September 29, 2008

Follow me on:

Can too much stress or negativity really make you sick? I can tell you from my experience during the last year taking care of my mother and ultimately losing her to lung cancer the answer is absolutely "Yes!" Learn how negativity can affect your health from high blood pressure and heart attacks to depression in this fascinating excerpt from the book "In Control" by Redford Williams, M.D., and Virginia Williams, Ph.D.
September 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm
(1) renee says:

I am a 46 yr old female. This year has been atypical to say the least. I split with my long term live in boyfriend,finical problems,got fired from a long term job,have clinical depression,large weight gain,possibly menopause on set.I awoke one morning to discover an elephant sitting on my chest. The ER doc tell me I had a heart attack. Blood pressure was 264/178. I have never had a BP problem before in my life,nor any cardic problems. Yes,Yes,Yes, I fully believe stress,depression,negativity can cause bad medical problems. And could kii you

September 30, 2008 at 7:59 am
(2) Mahogany says:

Take a deep breath. You will get over your break up. Trust me, I split from my husband after 20 years.(he was my world, & I thought I was his. NOT!) Concentrate on your health, don’t allow nonsense to get your pressure up.
Re-discover the what makes you happy! Sorry to hear you recently lost your job. Go online or go to your local un-employment office & see if there’s any recent job postings you may be interested in. Or you can go to a Temp Agency & let them know what your skills are & let them help find you a job.
Start eating right, I know you’re not feeling right. But, Please don’t allow it to get the best of you. When I went thru my break up, A couple of scriptures helped me thru it. (Psalm 28, Psalm 35, Psalm 73 & Psalm 91) I hope after reading ‘em, it helps.
You may feel that my message doesn’t have anything to do w/ your current issues. But when you’re going thru it, the light at the end of the tunnel seems far, far away. I know.
I’ve been there!
I’m a 45 yr old single mother of 3. Who had to give up my apartment because my child was in a car accident that left her dis-abled. I had to move in w/ relatives. And then my ex & I would get into it. He acted like a jerk.
Girl, it ain’t easy, but Keep The Faith! Don’t allow negative thoughts, friends who don’t have your best interests at heart get you down. Surround yourself w/ positive thoughts & people. Read your Bible.
Wishing you pleasant thoughts! : )

September 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm
(3) Trish says:

I had Cervical Cancer last summer. I told my then, 23 year old son, what I had, he kept asking me if I was going to be all right. It wasn’t easy. I had everything out, but my Ovaries. So, I didn’t have to take any Estrogen.

I am cure and now have post-op complications, due to my surgery. Even after 16 months. I am happy that I am still here. My heart goes to the ones that have it bad. I gained about 50 pounds too, as I couldn’t exercise. (which I so enjoy doing). Now I am thinking of going to Curves, and see what they can do for me. I have a wedding to go to, next August. My son is getting married, and I want to look good.

It’s not the end of the world. You make your life, what you want it to be. That brass ring is there, always for the taking. Go for it.

Good luck to all.

September 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm
(4) Jacqueline says:

Hi Tracee, thanks for this post — stress is definitely something I can relate to. When I was younger, I viewed stress as a “kick in the behind” or a motivator. I think I actually enjoyed it. Now that I’m older, whenever I feel that first wave hit me I feel like, “oh no, why me? what is this doing to my health?”. Looks like it’s time to step steps to destress. I will pass along another of the great articles from women to women dot com: http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/effectsofhighcortisol.aspx. It really breaks down how too much stress can lead to adrenal fatigue. I hate to say it, but I match every symptom.

October 1, 2008 at 8:16 am
(5) Missy says:

I know exactly how hard it is to try to get through each day when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I unexpectedly got pregnant at 40 and have been dealing with my son’s health issues since he was born 2 years ago. He had open hear surgery at 3 months, the hospital used a contaminated foley catheter and gave him one of those super staph infections…all of this has resulted in 70+ inpatient days in the hospital (while trying to hold down a job), 3 “blue baby” episodes, 3 ambulance rides to the ER and a total of 5 surgeries! Just to add a bit more stress to the whole mix, my husband is a medically retired PTSD vet — who finds all this stress just a bit much to take. I have had no time to exercise or eat healthy so I am overweight, tired all the time and get sick too much. I’m not sure what the answer is. I try to focus on the good, not the bad. But that is incredibly hard when your stress chemicals are running the show and you just DON’T FEEL GOOD. Each morning I pump myself up with positive thoughts and try to do the best I can. I hold out hope that I will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel…

October 2, 2008 at 10:19 am
(6) Sue says:

I’ve been thru the same thing. In August, a guy who dumped our close friendship for another woman. My BP went up to 171/113 (and I was taking my BP meds too), I cried, I hyperventilated, couldn’t sleep, and loss my appetite. I have since regrouped…realized the guy was not worth it..met some really great people! my BP is pretty back to norm. My appetite still has not come back (I’ve lost 17 lbs in 2 months), but I am eating..just when I’m really hungry and in small portions. I also had to put my dog of 14 years down in May…so talk about stress! Turning 50 in October…so I know I’m closer to menopause too!

October 3, 2008 at 12:25 am
(7) Carol says:

Wanted to comment that its unreal how situations that develop in life can affect us and bring about a mixed bag of emotions…
I went back home to be a caretaker for mom, (have no medical training of any kind…) who’s in her 80′s, with chronic conditions and is a strong willed woman.
While there she was in the hospital and rehab 3 times. Two siblings that live there became increasingly critical of the way I was attempting to manage the situation, and i was angry because I needed time away and hardly got any…all of which hurt alot and has damaged relationships with them.
I lost about 15-18 lbs, changed my eating habits, at times couldnt eat much, and felt very stressed out.
I returned home recently to my mate and our daughter and found its taking awhile to “regroup”…the experience changed me deeply, yet I dont think I could go back again to help out..unless for a short period of time..and feel guilty about it.

November 2, 2008 at 11:15 am
(8) anonymous says:

I became physically sick, and permanently, from stress.
There was long term sexual harassment at work but the supervisor would do nothing. I did not want to give up my unique career and so persevered. When it became sexual assault I tried several managers to resolve the problem. They did a cover up, including demotion and pay cut. Now there was discrimantion and harassment, as well as sexual harassment. The unions were unhelpful, either personal views or afraid of repercussions. Previously friendly work colleagues were also concerned of career repercussions and cut me off. Some non-work “friends” cut me off. Limited social support. I tried the appropriate Equal Opportunity Office which also did a cover up (this is not the place to provide details to support this statement). I engaged a lawyer who was also “got at”. By then I was physically sick and felt pressured to seek employment elsewhere, but found that I had been “black listed”. Enough reasons for stress causing ill health?
My symptoms were many. The classifications were endocrine & hormone imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue, metabolic disorder, pre-diabetes and acquired brain injury. Consequently I am at risk of other conditions like diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and alzheimers.
I am still ill and require 11 medicines per day (expensive). I am unemployed which has drastically changed my finances. The effects and outcomes of stress are not to be trivialised.

January 20, 2010 at 9:54 am
(9) Sunshine says:

Wow, in searching for answers due to many symptoms, I came across this page. I have been diag w/fibro,adrenal fatigue, arthritis, depression etc!!!!! Symptoms can mimick so many conditions out there and you can’t help but wonder if your Dr. has diag you correctly or in full, if you are taking the right treatments. What I do know is STRESS can ruin your life and for many years! I worry ahha about my children being anything like me and well I can see it in them. I try to educate them and say “Look at ME”! I had a childhood full of parents fighting and a mother who was undiag. that we really know of but totally depressed and addicted to meds, body pains etc. Kinda like me. Only I am not addicted as a matter of fact I have given up drinking, caffeine, and working on smoking. I have limited the meds due to effects. I am now disabled from it all. Sit at home mostly and have no life anymore not the one I did have was healthy! My childhood led to a marriage of 2 girls and a divorced named “the worst in our state” at that time anyway. I was in the court room for about 6 yrs defending my self with terrible atty’s however, a great Judge. I divorced him! Look out! He came at me with a vengence and planned to put me back in the mental hospital while getting custody of our girls. Well, he didn’t win until now! That was 17 yrs ago and I started batteling symptoms from the start of our marriage. It took this long for me to see what STRESS has done to me! My point: Educate others, warn them, coach them if able. Noone should have to live like this. Good luck to all

February 23, 2010 at 7:37 pm
(10) Fernando Torres says:

I am 16 year old male and yesterday i was in an arguement and today i am super sick fever diharea and acky bones wats wrong am i sick pf a flu or is it stress please help

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.