HIV Prevention Community
About This Community:

If you believe you have been exposed to HIV and want help to judge your risk, would like advice about HIV testing, or have questions about the effectiveness of condoms or risks associated with specific sexual practices, this is the site for you.

Font Size:

Stress Disorders

Signs and symptoms of stress
To get a handle on stress, you first need to learn how to recognize it in yourself. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways— all directly tied to the physiological changes of the fight-or-flight response. The specific signs and symptoms of stress vary widely from person to person. Some people primarily experience physical symptoms, such as low back pain, stomach problems, and skin outbreaks. In others, the stress pattern centers around emotional symptoms, such as crying jags or hypersensitivity. For still others, changes in the way they think or behave predominates.

The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. Use it to identify the symptoms you typically experience when you’re under stress. If you know your red flags, you can take early steps to deal with the stressful situation before it—or your emotions—spiral out of control.

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
Memory problems
Inability to concentrate
Trouble thinking clearly
Poor judgment
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Loss of objectivity
Fearful anticipation
Short temper
Irritability, impatience
Inability to relax
Feeling tense and “on edge”
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
Headaches or backaches
Muscle tension and stiffness
Diarrhea or constipation
Nausea, dizziness
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
Weight gain or loss
Skin breakouts (hives, eczema)
Loss of sex drive
Frequent colds
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastination, neglecting responsibilities
Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Overdoing activities (e.g. exercising, shopping)
Overreacting to unexpected problems
Picking fights with others



Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Start Date
Mar 07, 2008
by alienshadow
Last Revision
Mar 07, 2008
by alienshadow