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Life can be full of stress. Situations arise in everyday living that causes us to experience sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, and excitement. Physiologically, stress is defined as anything that challenges the body to function in its usual fashion.

Injury, illness, or exposure to extreme temperatures can cause stress to the body. Grieving, depression, fear, and even sexual activity can cause psychological stress.

Many people who experience stressful situations or perceived threats will turn to alcohol to cope with that stress. The problem with that is alcohol itself can cause stress on the body’s physiological balance.

Common Types of Stress

General life stress
Catastrophic events
Childhood stress
Ethnic minority stress
General-Life Stressors
Some examples of general life stressors include major changes like moving, starting a new job or getting married or divorced. Illness, a death in the family or problems at home or work can also be significant causes of stress.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause some general life stress, such as losing a job, causing relationship problems or causing legal problems.

Catastrophic Events
Studies have found that alcohol consumption increases within 12 months following a major disaster, either man-made or natural. Some studies have found that alcohol abuse disorders increase after catastrophic events like September 11, Hurricane Katrina, or the Oklahoma City bombing.5

However, other studies have found that catastrophe-induced increases in alcohol consumption tend to wane after a year and other studies have found no increases in alcoholism following major disasters.5

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