Everyone experiences stress from time to time. Stress disorders, however, are of a different magnitude. These occur as a result of profound trauma, such as encountering or witnessing a death, or experiencing serious injury. People with stress disorders exhibit intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Acute stress disorder occurs soon after the traumatic event and lasts for a month or less. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may begin within a few days of an event or may have delayed onset – sometimes as long as 30 to 40 years – and continues for more than three months.

Signs and Symptoms

A stress disorder is often accompanied by the following signs and symptoms.

  • Flashbacks, dreams, and intrusive thoughts
  • Avoidance of anything that prompts recollection of the trauma
  • Inability to recall aspects of the traumatic event
  • Detachment, a decrease in emotional responsiveness
  • A sense that one’s future will be cut short
  • Impulsiveness, risk-taking
  • Hopelessness
  • Overreactions, such as increased arousal and startled response
  • Problems functioning normally in work and social settings


The potential causes of stress are numerous and highly individual. What you consider stressful depends on many factors, including your personality, general outlook on life, problem-solving abilities, and social support system. Something that’s stressful to you may not faze someone else, or they may even enjoy it. For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.

The pressures and demands that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that forces us to adjust can be a stressor. This includes positive events such as getting married or receiving a promotion. Regardless of whether an event is good or bad, if the adjustment it requires strains our coping skills and adaptive resources, the end result is stress.

Some of the common stressors include:

  • death of a spouse
  • death of a close relative
  • divorce or marriage separation
  • jail term
  • injury or illness
  • loss of a job
  • marriage
  • marriage reconciliation
  • retirement

It is important to note that not all stress is caused by external pressures and demands. Your stress can also be self-generated. Internal causes of stress include:

  • uncertainty or worries
  • pessimistic attitude
  • self-criticism
  • unrealistic expectations or beliefs
  • perfectionism
  • low self-esteem
  • excessive or unexpressed anger
  • lack of assertiveness

Integrative Medicine Treatment Options

We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.

Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Therapies, Supplements and Medications
  • Mind/Body Relaxation Techniques
  • Lifestyle Counseling
  • Energy Healing
  • Medical Massage Therapy
  • Thai Massage and/or Thai Reflexology

Our stress patients come to us from Hyde Park, Loveland, Westchester/Liberty Township, Mason and Indian Hill as well as Finneytown, Reading, Springdale, Terrace Park, Blue Ash and from all across the U.S.