Chronic Stress

This information is useful for adults
stress
Why Yale Medicine?
  • The Yale Stress Center conducts clinical trials that attempt to find biomarkers of stress that relate to chronic disease risk.
  • Our Stress Center holds classes and training workshops for the public on mindfulness and other stress-reduction techniques.
  • Ongoing clinical trials offer opportunities to receive innovative stress reduction care.
  • Our physicians and healthcare staff are trained to create a calm, supportive environment.

Many people, over the course of their lives, have experienced acute stress, a dramatic physiological and psychological reaction to a specific event. Chronic stress, however, is a consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time. “We humans are very good at facing a challenge, solving a situation, or reaching out to someone to get support,” says Rajita Sinha, PhD, director of Yale Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Stress Center. “We’re wired to respond to stress and remove it, sometimes even automatically. But life has become more complex, and many situations don’t have easy answers.” Sinha founded the Yale Stress Center in 2007 to study stress from an interdisciplinary perspective and to improve the treatment of stress-related diseases.

Causes of chronic stress could include poverty, a dysfunctional marriage or family, or a deeply dissatisfying job. In today's hectic society, there are many possible sources. Chronic stress slowly drains a person’s psychological resources and damages their brains and bodies. “People experiencing chronic stress might feel incapable of changing their situations,” Sinha says.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.