In our modern life, it appears that just about everyone is dealing with some form of stress. Individuals of all ages are dealing with stress that comes from:


  • Work demands

  • Academic demands (college performance)

  • Personal finances

  • Relationship challenges

  • Business issues

  • Family responsibilities

  • Caregiver demands

Although some level of stress is part of our ordinary existence, prolonged stress can lead to a variety of diseases and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and can reduce our overall health. Exposure to uncontrolled stress has been linked to a variety of illness and health issues, including cardio heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, along with a shorter life span.


As stress begins to increase

When stress begins to get out of control in our lives, it is common for us to see alignments such as:


1. Common coldTime pressure causes stress
2. Weight gain
3. Sleep problems
5. Slower healing
6. Depression
7. Body aches and pains
8. Stomach problems

When stress gets out of control

It can lead to some chronic issues such as:


  • depression and anxietyjob related stress causes mental illness

  • substance abuse

  • anti-social behavior

  • dementia

As stress increases in intensity, many people end up eating, drinking and smoking more, and sleeping and exercising less. These natural reactions to stress can then have negative consequences for our health.

Recent research has shown that stress among adults over 50 is becoming more prevalent with 37 percent of adults over 50 experienced a major stressful life event in the past year, such as the death of a family member, chronic illness or a job loss.

The Stress Response


The chemical make up of cortisolThe body reacts to stress by first pumping adrenaline and then cortisol into the bloodstream to get the mind and body ready for immediate action.
Cortisol is essential to turning off inflammation, but when stress is constant, the body is then exposed to an endless amount of cortisol causing cells in the body to become desensitized to this hormone. Long term exposure to this level of cortisol can lead to damages of the blood vessels and brain cells as well as insulin resistance and painful joint diseases.

What is a nervous breakdown?

A nervous breakdown refers to an acute attack of anxiety that disrupts your daily life. Nervous breakdowns are part of a family of mental disorders known as anxiety disorders. Nervous breakdowns can happen when you are experiencing sudden, extreme, or prolonged stress. When a nervous breakdown happens, you may feel like you lose control of your feelings and give in to stress, anxiety, or worry.


Symptoms of a nervous breakdown can include the following:


  • Excessive feelings of worry

  • Nervousness and fear

  • Sweating

  • Crying

  • Muscle tension

  • Shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat

  • Dizziness

  • Irritability and insomnia.

Unlike panic attacks, which can happen suddenly and without apparent reason, nervous breakdowns are a result of excessive stress. The cause of a nervous breakdown is usually an extreme response by the body to an ongoing stressful situation. It can also result from a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters, the substances that control brain and nerve signaling. Persons with a history of anxiety disorders are more prone to experiencing a nervous breakdown, especially when they are exposed to high levels of stress.

Job Stress

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Job stress is “the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.”


All of us can relate to the collective work stressors:


  • unrealistic deadlinesMan sitting due to Job Burnout

  • frequent scheduling conflicts

  • frequent interruptions that make getting things done difficult

  • The pilling up of responsibilities

  • Dealing with difficult colleagues and/or customers

However, the frequent signs of burnout are:


  • Feeling emotionally drained

  • Not feeling mentally well

  • Insomnia

  • Finding ways to avoid going to work

Job stress arises when a task cannot be completed due to lack of time, ability, multiple priorities. Chronic stress cannot only impact the quality of your work but also begin to affect the quality of your life outside the office.

Work burnout is now a validated medical concern. In fact, the World Health Organization has developed guidelines on what constitutes mental well-being in the workplace. Burnout is the physical, mental, emotional exhaustion that occurs after prolonged stress.


Typically, persons, experiencing burnout will have:


  • A feeling of energy depletion and exhaustion

  • Irritability

  • Increased psychological distance from their employment

  • feelings or negativity or cynicism

  • A reduction in professionalism

It emerges over time and can be more challenging to recover from. Not addressing job burnout can have real consequences.

Burnout in the workplace goes beyond needing to take a vacation.


Stigma in the workplace


There is a stigma in many workplaces that prevents employees from being able to speak openly about mental health issues, and this often prevents those who need help from seeking it.

Nonetheless, it is vital for anyone experiencing burnout to actively seek treatment before the issues become more severe and damaging.  As mentioned above,  research has shown that the same parts of the brain that control our stress response also play an essential role in our susceptibility and resistance to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. These parts of the affected brain also play a role in depression. Thus, people suffering from inflammatory diseases may also experience depression.

There are scientifically proven methods and strategies to being able to adapt and live with stress in your life.


Not all stress is bad


It is not possible or desirable to try to eliminate all the stress in your life. There is one kind of stress called Eustress, that is positive. This is the sensation that gives us a sense of excitement in our lives. Eustress is that good stress we feel such as the nervous feeling of the first day at a new job, or when we undertake a fun challenge. Therefore, the goal when managing stress is to find a way to treat bad stress while developing the abilities to become resilient to bad stress.

The Offices of Ginny Estupinian Ph.D. can help you

We always see each client as an individual and never make assumptions. There are a variety of empirically valid approaches to working with individuals suffering from stress. During this process, we use an assortment of empirically validated assessments to help us determine and quantify the presenting problems. The key is to help identify what precisely will work for you and your unique situation. From this starting point, we will review the treatment approach and establish the treatment goals that you want to achieve.


You will gain new resilience and coping skills to more effectively manage your stress and feel better.



The offices of Ginny Estupinian Ph.D. will provide you with the latest technology, evidence-based protocols, and support services, including cognitive-behavioral therapy processing groups. The best part is that we will work closely with you in a confidential and private manner to help you reach your goals in the best way possible.


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