Types of Stress: Acute, Episodic & Chronic

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Stress is a common problem that affects people all over the world. Apart from affecting the health of a person, it also affects the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral sides of a person.

Types of Stress

The three types of stress, according to the American Psychological Association, are acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. Let’s look at these conditions in detail.

Acute Stress

This is the most common form of stress found in people. This type is generally related to the pressures from the recent past and near future.  A small dose of this stress can be thrilling, like the feeling you get from sliding down a slanted hill. However, many people may not be able to enjoy this if the dose is higher than usual. Acute stress pertains to regular pressures and it causes bursts of anger, anxiety, headaches, jaw pain, backaches, heartburn, acidity, constipation, diarrhea, and high blood pressure.

A well-dressed woman looking stressed and holding her forehead

Stress at work is common and can lead to burnout, which is linked with depression and anxiety. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Episodic Acute Stress

This type is the next level of acute stress, where a person will be handling a number of pressures or demands simultaneously. The symptoms of episodic acute stress include aggression, anxiety, impatience, tension, short temper, high blood pressure, accelerated heartbeat, backaches, and high acidity. Their impatience and aggressiveness are sometimes perceived to be hostile and they end up being some of the worst communicators. On the other hand, there are others who are very depressed and sad rather than aggressive. Those kinds of people can also face the same type of symptoms.

Chronic Stress

A major percentage of chronic stress sufferers end up as alcoholics or drug addicts. Major issues at work, in personal or professional life like estranged relationships, loss of loved ones, or unemployment contribute to chronic stress. The worst affected are not actually adults, but children. The psychological trauma that a child goes through under such situations may have a profound effect on his or her life in later years.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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