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Acute stress usually comes on suddenly and lasts for a relatively short time. Chronic stress, on the other hand, seems never to go away. It may vary from a bad commute to work to bigger problems, such as being in an unhappy relationship, being stuck in an unsatisfying job or being unable to get out of poverty. Chronic stress may also arise from traumatic childhood experiences that leave scars, internally if not externally. Far more damaging than acute stress, chronic stress presents potential dangers because it can wear you down in time physically and psychologically. When it lasts for a long time, people often assume they must learn to live with it rather than trying to improve it. Addressing the core problem or learning how to cope may help avoid or reduce the damaging side effects of stress.

Sleep Problems

The most common sleeping difficulty reported by people of all ages is insomnia. Sleeping pills are often the first sought treatment for sleeplessness, however, there are serious side-effects associated as well as the possibility of developing a drug dependence. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an established non-drug treatment for insomnia which addresses the factors maintaining long-term insomnia. This therapy achieves lasting improvements, decreasing the time spent laying awake and improving daytime functioning.

Updated Jan 2016