The effects of stress are varying and can seem strange, Medical Daily reports. Some of the more unusual ones, such as vivid dreams and muffled hearings, are explored below.
- Gallows Humor
Stress can make our humor darker and cause us to joke about serious things such as disease or threatening situations. This is known as gallows humor. While it may sound sinister, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Being able to laugh during difficult times can help people cope and change a person’s perspective.
Arnie Cann, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, said, “From a very psychological level, just being able to use humor to change the way you interpret a situation – so it doesn’t seem as threatening – seems very important.”
- Hair Loss
Stress can contribute to hair loss in three separate ways. Stress can cause hair follicles to enter a resting phase, which causes them to fall out during washing or brushing. Alopecia, a condition where the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, can also be induced or worsened by stress. Finally, stress can cause people to pull out their hair – either on their head or other body parts – via a condition called trichotillomania.
- Vivid or Bad Dreams
When we are stressed, it often affects all aspects of our life, including sleep. Vivid or bad dreams are also an effect of stress.
Someone may also suffer sleep-related hallucinations, which occur when someone is waking up but immobile due to sleep paralysis.
The digestive system is linked to stress levels through the chemical serotonin, which acts differently when a person is stressed, making a person’s stomach more irritable and sensitive.
- Skin Irritations
Rash and hives, sometimes including itchiness or stinging, can develop when stressed. This effect is more dangerous if any swelling occurs in an area that could block breathing, such as the tongue or throat.
- Muffled Hearing or Tunnel Vision
Stress can also cause someone to experience muffled hearing, tunnel vision, light sensitivity, and the feeling of being uncoordinated or disoriented.