Part 2: By: Dr Chris Le Roux (PhD)

Part 1 covered the most common Emotional symptoms of workplace and family stress. This section will investigate briefly, the Cognitive, Immune and Behavioural symptoms of workplace and family stress.

·                     Cognitive symptoms

Stressful situations mostly produce a lack of concentration, poor memory, fuzzy or illogical thinking, and confusion. Following is a list of cognitive symptoms caused by too much unmanaged stress:

Forgetfulness Difficult to remember things Always putting things off
Mental block Making mistakes Disjointed thoughts
Difficulty organising thoughts Feeling confused Inward preoccupation


·                     Immune system symptoms

The immune system is the body’s surveillance system guarding against allergies, infections, cancer, viruses, and bacteria. A considerable and growing body of research shows that stress suppresses the immune system, thereby increasing the chances of immune related-illnesses such as Colds, Flu, and Other infections.

No matter how well you look after yourself, too much stress will contribute to these illnesses and it’s not just a coincidence.

Your brain and immune system are continuously communicating with one another, which means that psychological upsets can result in physical symptoms.

·                     Behavioural symptoms

o Direct symptoms

Direct behavioural symptoms are usually clear reflections of internal tension and include the following:

Compulsive actions Difficulty sitting still Withdrawal Short temperedness
Talking faster than usual Losing touch with friends Interpersonal conflict Relationship problems
Stumbling speech Verbal attacks on people Crying spells Grinding teeth
Rushing around without getting things done Difficulty staying with one activity Overeating or undereating Outbursts of anger


o Indirect symptoms

Indirect symptoms reflect increased use of specific actions in order to release the physical and mental strain of stress, and include increased smoking, use of alcohol, drugs, medication, and caffeine. Some individuals also use sleep and television as an escape of this stress.

Ongoing symptoms of workplace and family stress should not be ignored and can be detrimental to your health. In some cases, you might require medical and/or psychological intervention.

In the next article we will look at physical symptoms and the cost of unmanaged workplace and family stress.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact me on 082 8198771 or e-mail


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