Extreme and prolonged stress affects your body in these ways

Extreme and prolonged stress affects your body in these ways

By: Hermita
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Extreme and prolonged stress affects your body in these ways

Parents who have lost a child experience a huge tragedy that brings prolonged & extreme stress episodes. Your body will be affected in so many ways, but most claim that they have experienced these symptoms and sensations:


1.         Chronic pain. Chronic pain, in general, is very common among people who have experienced prolonged stress episodes, and losing a child is definitely the longest and most stressful situation you'll ever experience. The pain can be localized, but doesn't have to – you can experience strange pain all over your body. Sadness does this too. You'll feel very weak and sometimes even walking can be a challenge.

2.         Back pain. Back pain, especially ischiatic, is linked to sadness that still hasn't been expressed. It can be a sign of anxiety and depression too. It's highly advised that you find a way to express your feelings and don't hold them inside because they'll have to show somewhere – which means that it will usually affect your physical health.

3.         Autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases linked to arthritis or the thyroid gland are also very common. If you have a family history of these health issues, losing a child may be a trigger for activating autoimmune disease.

4.         Repeated infections. Due to the weak immune system, you'll catch a cold easily and probably the flu won't miss you too. It would be great to work on your immune system, or at least try sleeping better and eating healthier.

5.         Irritable bowel syndrome. Connected to all anxiety states, IBS will make you feel like something is very wrong with your digestion. You'll experience repeated pain in the stomach but also have problems with emptying your bowels, or they'll empty a few times a day. Probiotics may help, but I would also advise visiting your gastroenterologist so they can exclude some other, more serious health problems.

6.         Heart palipations. Broken heart syndrome is not a myth – this is especially dangerous in the first 72 hours after the tragedy. One study has shown that parents who have lost a child have 35% more chances of having heart failure than those who haven't been through such a hard life experience.

7.         Gut problems & increased stomach acid. Problems will gastritis will just worsen, and many claim that they have also experienced problems with swallowing. Your body is probably creating general anxiety because it thinks about saving you, even from those things that actually don't represent real harm.

8.         TMD. Issues with teeth grinding become more common, especially at night, when you're experiencing hard times or severe nightmares, flashbacks, or even PTSD episodes. You'll suffer from jaw problems, like popping out, pain that looks like migraine or neuralgia, problems with eating and jewing, and sometimes even speaking – depending on how much TMD has developed. Of course, I don't say that all bereaved parents will experience this, but it may happen due to prolonged stress episodes.

9.         Muscle tension and spasms. You'll feel a lot of tension in your body and muscles may create spasms on their own. Personally, I had a lot of problems with my fists and the lower part of my legs. Magnesium is a good solution to this problem.

10.       Vertigo. Although vertigo can be a sign of some more serious neurological problems, it also is a part of derealization. If your symptoms are severe, it's always good to visit a neurologist. For many, they'll claim it's due to extreme anxiety and fear.


Your body behaves like it is in danger – it will literally act like you're preparing for a fight – making muscles tights and your bowels empty. People who have problems with panic attacks know this very well.

I always remind you to take good care of yourself because your immune system is now weak and you are prone to various things that can damage your physical health and well-being.


While you're here, read a study made on the connection between losing a child and the risk of breast cancer

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