When Stress Manifests In the Body

When Stress Manifests in the Body
It’s Mental Health May, hunnies. That’s just what I like to call it (you know me - any excuse to talk about mental health, I’m there). Mental health issues can have a profound impact on both the mind and body, so it's important to understand that mental and physical health are closely intertwined, and that symptoms of mental illness can manifest in a variety of physical ways throughout the body as well as in the traditional sense. In this post, we'll explore some common ways that mental health issues may manifest in the body. Your body may be warning you that something is off before your brain does, so make sure to listen!

The Signs

When Stress Manifests in the Body
  1. Chronic Pain Mental health issues – such as depression and anxiety – can often lead to chronic pain throughout the body. This can include headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, and other types of pain that persist for long periods of time. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, leading to a reduced quality of life. As chiropractors we see this often, which is exactly why in our treatment plans we not only prescribe home remedies to address the physical symptoms, but self-care and stress relief routines to address the mental health side of things. It’s all related.
  2. Digestive Issues – Yep, it ain’t pretty. Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on the digestive system, leading to symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain/bloating…ring a bell? This is because the gut and brain are closely connected, and stress can lead to inflammation and other issues in the digestive tract. Aka, lower that cortisol and you might find you’re spending less time in the bathroom. Sorry, someone has to say it.
  3. Sleep Disorders – Many mental health issues can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can further exacerbate mental health issues, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break. Sounds fun, huh?
  4. Skin Conditions – Stress and anxiety can also cause a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. This can be explained by the wonderful fact that stress can lead to inflammation and other changes in the body that can trigger these conditions. So if you ever find yourself sitting in front of your mirror squeezing pimples feeling like a 15 year old all over again, give this some thought.
  5. Fatigue – Depression and other mental health issues can cause profound fatigue, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks and leading to a general feeling of lethargy. This can further exacerbate mental health symptoms, creating yet another vicious cycle of fatigue and mental distress.
  6. Weight Changes – Changes in weight, both gain and loss, can be a symptom of a variety of mental health issues. This is due to the fact that changes in appetite and metabolism can be triggered by stress, anxiety, and other emotional factors. We just can’t have nice things.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with mental health issues is different, and symptoms may manifest in unique ways for each person. These are just some of the common ways that mental health issues can impact the body. This list is by no means comprehensive or universally applicable, so it’s important to pay attention to and get to know YOUR body. If you’re experiencing symptoms of mental illness, it’s important to seek professional help from a therapist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. With the right support and resources, it’s possible to manage and overcome mental health challenges and live a fulfilling life. In addition, we’re here to help get your body back in alignment while you work on the stress side of things. We’ve got your back…literally. See what I did there? Spine? Back? Chiros? Anyway, stay blessed, not stressed! 

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Picture of Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Josh Huddleston, and I are the founders of On-The-Go Wellness®. We are husband & wife, who just so happen to be Board Certified, Licensed, Chiropractic Physicians & Certified Yoga Instructors! After practicing with other clinics in the USA and Singapore for the past 5 years, we decided to start On-The-Go Wellness® to fit our active, mobile lifestyles.

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