Stress is a natural response of the body when facing uncomfortable or adverse situations. It can manifest itself in various forms; physically and emotionally. The most common manifestations are tension, worry and tiredness. 8 other effects of stress will be highlighted in this post.
Certain symptoms of stress manifest themselves, differently in both men and women. The way stress will affect a man will be different from that of a woman. In fact, male stress is more complicated than female stress for various reasons: hormonal and mental.
The past few days during this Mental Health Awareness Week, I have been writing on the effects of stress and its management and one of my readers sent a message asking if I could write something on men too. It is a tricky one as I normally write on the things I know or have experienced it myself. Having to write a post on men meant I had to do a bit more research which I hope the men reading this post would not mind.
So, without further ado here are the 8 main effects of stress in men:
1. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicate that symptoms of stress, along with anxiety or depression, could cause a lasting genetic change in a man’s sperm.
2. Due to the involvement of genetic material in sperm, stress can cause certain traits associated with various mental disorders in children of parents with symptoms of stress, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.
3. According to Mayo Clinic, the tension generated by chronic stress can lead to alopecia and trichotillomania (mania for pulling hair) in men, resulting in constant hair loss.
4. In men, stress produces an intense feeling of guilt and worthlessness. Deep emotional distress over past events or failures leads to a sense of worthlessness in the mind of a man, who continually delights in self-pity and might prefer to isolate himself.
5. Men are more sensitive to adrenaline than women, so if the stimuli that lead to the production of adrenaline are repeated a lot, they do not have the necessary resources to fight anger or sudden mood swings caused by stress. Also when a man is stressed, his testosterone levels rise and block oxytocin, which is key to relaxation, explain researchers at the University of Southern California.
6. Stress makes men to be more attracted to women who have a few extra pounds or overweight and can lead to the idealisation of the most mature physical features in a potential partner, according to a study led by Viren Suami, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Westminster, England.
7. According to Mika Kivimäki, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki in Finland, a man is more susceptible to reducing his good health and life expectancy (premature death) as he presents higher levels and symptoms of stress during his life. This is most evident in the mortality recorded in older adults who lose their partners.
8. A man’s sense of guilt when stress affects him is often accompanied by emotional suffering. This anguish leads to feelings of worthlessness and the man, in front of the woman, usually isolates himself.
It is evident that many of the symptoms of stress affect almost all domains of a man’s life, from the social part, through the physical, to the sexual, even more, when it is a disorder that becomes chronic.
Health specialists emphasised in the fact that “it is important to bear in mind that constant stress can strain the heart in various ways, increasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and increasing blood pressure.” Also, extreme stress can make your heartbeat out of rhythm.
Therefore, it is essential to learn to manage both your symptoms and learn new strategies to face daily challenges.