Stress is like traffic. It’s that annoyance you experience on your way to where you’re going. Sometimes it slows you down. Other times it is most efficient in riling you up. It’s universally agreed that stress isn’t our friend, but can it kill you?
Not the end of the day, the face of exhaustion that you present in your mirror after a long day before heading to sleep kind of death. But like, the heart-stops-beating-cease-to-exist kind of dying?
Can stress do that to a person? Let’s comb through the facts.
Cause of Death: Stress?
There are, of course, differing levels of stress. People respond differently to different stressful stimuli. Something that drives someone’s blood pressure through the roof may only be enough to make another person chuckle in disdain. It’s all relative.
The tendency for stress to become fatal is dependent on the circumstances that come as a result of the stress. The presence of prolonged or chronic stress affects the body physically. The nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and metabolic systems are all affected in cases such as these.
The Stress Domino Effect
It works something like a domino effect. One function of the body doesn’t execute correctly, and then the next, and the next. Before you know it, you’re deep in unexplained indigestion, night sweats, and developing chest pain. Stress comes in many forms, and it’s important to note if you are experiencing any of them as a result of feeling too stressed.
This is how stress can go from a few bad days, to chronic, and potentially fatal.
The End Game
The verdict is that yes, technically, you can die from the effects of stress. Stress can trigger a variety of health complications that can lead to fatality over time.
However, this is not to say that you will die from a single instance of being distressed. Though, if you present an existing risk of heart attack, and experience an abnormally high level of stress, it’s not impossible that being stressed could trigger a cardiovascular attack.
We want you to take care of you, so GR8 fam, if you’re experiencing high levels of stress—don’t just let it be. Seek guidance from a mental healthcare professional, and work to alleviate stress because even if it doesn’t kill you, it may still be taking away from your life.