Book Definition: Continuous stressful arousal persisting over time.

Chronic stress is caused by distressful events that those affected feel they have no control of. Long term chronic stress can cause damage physically and mentally.

In Your Own Words

  • Long term stressor that effects ones physical state and health.
  • A constant stressor that is hard to manage and can lead to critical health levels.

Examples/Functions


  • Taking care of a very sick relative for a long period.
  • Stressful jobs that you go to every day can take years off your life.
  • Not getting enough sleep every night, resulting in being tired every day.
  • Abuse that lasts over time.
  • Having several bad months in a row and thinking life won't ever get better.
  • Losing an important person in you life can leave you with chronic stress.
  • Having a long term health problem.
  • The work load of all your classes persisting throughout your student life.
  • Rape causes harmful memories and trauma for an extended period of time.
  • Constantly thinking about the future and what will happen next in your life.
  • Watching someone hurt someone close to you and not being able to help.
  • Working at a difficult dead end job that leads you to feel trapped and helpless.
  • Constant worry about being able to pay bills.
  • Worrying about getting into colleges.
  • Coming back from a war and experiencing trauma, and bad memories everyday of your life.

Additional Resources


  1. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-chronic-stress.aspx