Skip to content

Men's Mind - Stress

Men's Mind
    ask a question Men's Voice
Introduction and Causes
Symptoms and Effects
Treatment and Self-help
Lively Mood
Introduction and Causes

What is stress?

Stress is a word used to describe the feelings of "distress" experienced when tensions become unbearably high.

What causes it?

Many things or "life events" can lead to stress. Common causes include:

  • Pressure to perform at work or being unemployed
  • Family conflicts and relationship breakups
  • Financial worries
  • Health conditions
  • Excessive substance intake including caffeine, alcohol, tobacco
  • Non-ideal living environment such as cramped flat, traffic jams, close to sources of pollution
Health Alert

Under prolonged stress, you will be more susceptible to diseases due to reduced immunity.

Back to top
Symptoms and Effect
Health Tips

Remember : prolonged stress can cause a range of negative feelings and the resulting symptoms may seriously affect your well-being. When stress becomes too much and does not seem to go away, seek medical advice or other professional help.


What are the common symptoms?

Stress can lead to both physical and mental symptoms. The most noticeable physical symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach ache and indigestion
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Sleeping difficulties such as insomnia
  • Sexual problems
  • Loss of appetite

Stress affects the mind with mental symptoms include:

  • Poor concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Feeling of frustration
  • Irritability or anger
  • Apathy or depression

What are the complications?

Stress is a fact of everyday life and a certain level of stress is beneficial in preparing us for a challenge. However, extreme and prolonged stress will lower the immunity and increase the susceptibility to a wide range of diseases including gastric ulcer and heart disease.

Back to top

How can I prevent it?

The best way to prevent stress from getting out of control is to be alert to the early signs of stress and to seek assistance when necessary.

Who Else Can Help?

Social Welfare Department hotline
Phone: 2343 2255

Hospital Authority Mental Health 24 hours hotline
Phone: 2466 7350

Mental Health Association of Hong Kong hotline
Phone: 2528 0196

The Samaritans 24 hours hotline:
Phone: 2896 0000

The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong 24 hours hotline:
Phone: 2389 2222

Suicide Prevention Services (24 hours)
Phone: 2382 0000

Back to top
Treatment and Self-help

What is the treatment?

Most cases of stress can be dealt with by some self-help measures (see How can I help myself). The stress may sometimes be relieved after talking with your partner or a friend. Talking about your feelings or seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

In severe cases, stress can be treated by health professionals. Treatment can include medications and psychotherapy, alone or in combination. The choice of an appropriate treatment is based on the severity of the stress, the extent to which stress affects the patient's life, and the presence of any other medical conditions.

How can I help myself?

If you are suffering from stress, there are a number of self-help measures you could try out:

  • Share your thoughts and worries with your partner or a reliable friend.
  • Keep active. Take regular exercise.
  • Eat properly. Have a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. They only mask the anxiety but do not solve the problem.
  • Look for humour in stressful situations.
  • Use relaxation techniques, e.g. meditation, yoga or massage.
  • Deal with the cause of stress, e.g. learning to be more assertive, sharing your responsibilities at work, prioritizing your work schedule, organizing your time better.

If you do not feel comfortable talking about yourself in front of others or with anyone you know, you can try telephone counseling services which can give you opportunity to discuss things anonymously. Telephone counseling has worked well for many men.

Back to top
Lively Mood

(Source: Mental Health Association of Hong Kong)

Are you under stress? In the past month, has the following situation happened to you?

  1. Feel that you have too much work and you cannot cope.
  2. Feel that you have to race through the day, e.g. talking and walking fast, crossing road on red light.
  3. Feel that there is no time for hobbies and always think about work.
  4. Blow up easily when you meet failure or difficulties.
  5. Worry about others' comments on your work performance.
  6. Feel that your boss or family does not appreciate you.
  7. Worry about your financial situation.
  8. Have consistent headache/stomachache/ back pain.
  9. Ease your nerve/mind through smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs or frequent snacking.
  10. Use sleeping pills or tranquilizers to get into sleep.
  11. Get angry when you are with your family or colleagues.
  12. Interrupt other people while they are speaking.
  13. Worry about things while in bed and cannot get into a sleep.
  14. Unable to achieve perfection because of too much work.
  15. Feel guilty when taking a break.
  16. Do things in your own way but feel guilty afterwards.
  17. Feel that you should not enjoy life.

Lively Result

Note: The test aims to raise your awareness in mental health. You need not bother too much if you are not happy about the scores obtained or you think the test does not reflect your situation.

Lively Analysis

What Your Score Means

  • 0-10 marks: Your low level of mental stress may indicate that your current live lacks excitement, comparatively boring and you are not motivated.
  • 11-15 marks: You have moderate level of mental stress. Although you feel more stressful at times, you still can cope.
  • 16 marks or above: You have a high level of mental stress. You have to re-think how you are living, find out what the sources of stress are, and seek resolution.
Back to top
Related Articles
  Lively Mood