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Did you know you could be stressed out and not even know it? Some of the symptoms of stress might surprise you. I pulled together this checklist of symptoms to help people understand if they are suffering from stress.

Stress Checklist Information

These symptoms can often occur when experiencing a stressful situation and should subside when the situation passes. However, people may experience prolonged, diffuse, and generalized stressors which do not pass or to diminish due to unresolved fears or concerns.

These symptoms may become more intense and/or persist for an extended period of time and could cause significant distress and disruption in one’s life and examining the frequency, intensity and duration of these symptoms and their impact on one’s ability to function in daily tasks could help to assess if further intervention might be necessary.

While it might be considered a “normal” reaction to experience some of these symptoms in response to stress, if they are causing significant levels of distress or disrupting a person’s ability to function in life seeking help and support from friends, family, and/or a mental health professional can help to alleviate the difficulties.

Stress Checklist

Think about a scale of 1 to 10, and ask yourself how intense has your overall stress level been in the past month? Consider how long you have been experiencing these symptoms with no relief and how often you experience these symptoms.

This checklist includes cognitive, affective, physical and behavioral symptoms of stress. This first set of symptoms lists what are considered more typical, expected, or “normal” reactions to stress.

  • confusion
  • difficulty making decisions
  • disoriented
  • in shock
  • difficulty concentrating
  • grief
  • depression
  • fear
  • feeling helpless or hopeless
  • anger
  • suspiciousness
  • anxiety
  • increased heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • elevated heart rate
  • headaches
  • excessive sweating
  • changes in eating
  • dizzy spells
  • feeling tired
  • relationship conflicts
  • loss of interest in sex
  • lower quality of work/lower grades
  • feeling less productive than normal
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • low motivation
  • loss of sense of humor
  • impulsive behavior

The following symptoms are some more serious indicators of stress. These symptoms are often more intense and are likely to cause significant difficulties in a person’s ability to function. It is recommended that someone who is experiencing these acute symptoms seek help from a mental health professional to aid in developing effective coping strategies.

  • nightmares
  • persistent thoughts of trauma
  • difficulty remembering things
  • irritability that is hard to control
  • hostility that is hard to control
  • feeling “dazed” or “numb”
  • feeling panic
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feeling restless
  • feeling easily startled
  • disturbing thoughts/images
  • a sense of reliving a fearful experience
  • less interest in things I normally enjoy
  • feeling detached from others
  • fear of death/dying
  • increased use of alcohol/drugs