Therapy and Counseling
Services in San Francisco

The Flood Building
Suite 441
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 846-6557

Daniel C. McCracken, MA, MFT
Licensed Psychotherapist

Contact Daniel

About Stress

We hear about the negative effects of stress daily. Many of us believe we're under more stress today than our parents were 30 years ago. If you believe this, you'd be correct. It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. Stress is a complex phenomenon. It has been defined in many ways, but simply put, "it is the wear and tear of everyday life".

As we all know, some days seem more stressful than others and some times it seems there is no letup. Daily stress is unavoidable and if it was properly managed, it wouldn't cause too many health problems. However, on-going stress, when not managed well, is at the root of a great many illnesses. Common medical opinion is that 96% of all illness is either a direct result of stress, or greatly aggravated by it.

The majority of people know what the basics of stress often look like, however, we often miss the more intricate workings of stress and its affect on the body and mind. Stress is a physical and psychological response to perceived demands and pressures from without and from within. To respond to these demands and pressures, we mobilize physical and emotional resources (which produce stress hormones to increase in the body). Too frequent, extreme, or prolonged mobilization strains us and generates distress signals. There are many factors that can cause stress such as financial pressures, relationship difficulties, career pressures, heavy workloads, unreal expectations, child problems...

It's our perception of these events (how we think and feel about them) that actually causes the chemical and psychological responses that can either help or harm the body and mind.

Common symptoms of stress:

  • irritability
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • tension headaches
  • stomachaches
  • hypertension
  • migraine headaches
  • ulcers
  • heart conditions
  • colitis