While stress is a normal and everyday experience for most people too much stress could be a sign of a deeper mental health issue.
It is a normal human response to any strain, emotional of physical, on the person.
Experts even agree that acute stress (that which arises during a specific moment for a short amount of time) can be helpful in navigating the situation. Physical symptoms include increased heart rate in the moment.
Chronic stress occurs after the body’s system is triggered repeatedly.
Stress isn’t bad but sustained chronic stress (stress experienced for long periods of time after the situation is over) can be mentally and physically damaging.
It can be hard to tell when stress is becoming something more—like anxiety or depression. If the worry is intrusive after the stressor is over that could be anxiety. If one can’t move beyond sadness is a continuous mood and one can’t move beyond the situation that could be depression.
However, if one is able to resolve their negative emotions soon after the incident that caused the stress, it is probably just that, stress. Discussing one’s extended stress with their physician or a licensed mental health professional is the best way to determine if one has an issue beyond everyday stress.