What Is Stress?

Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Gordon talk about different types of stress and how it can affect your health.

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DR. RODGERS: Everyone feels stressed from time to time. But what is stress and can it affect your health?

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health at NIH explains:

DR. GORDON: Stress is how the body and brain respond to challenges. Demands like exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events can all be stressful.

There are different types of stress and people cope in different ways. Not all stress is bad. However, long-term stress can harm your health.

If you’re overwhelmed by stress, talk to a health professional. It’s important to seek help if you feel you can’t cope, are using drugs or alcohol more often, or are having thoughts of harming yourself. If you do have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. That's 1-800-273-8255.

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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