Can stress make me ill?

Yes, stress can make you very ill. If the pressures you are facing are prolonged, happen too frequently, or are out of your control, the stress reactions in your body can become chronic. This may lead to serious and/or permanent ill-health:

  • Stress reactions may suppress your immune system, increasing your susceptibility to diseases.
  • Tense muscles and soft tissues are more easily damaged under pressure.
  • Psychological distress leads to depression and anxiety.
  • Stress is linked with health-damaging habits, such as smoking, alcohol and problem-eating, all of which are associated with other diseases.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.