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On the inside,

"I felt like a failure because I couldn’t handle the pressure at university."

Marta lives with stress


Stress makes you feel like you’re under too much mental or emotional pressure. It affects us all, but if you’re under stress for long periods, it can damage your mental health.

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Stress isn’t a real mental illness

In a 2014 survey, 62% of people thought that stress didn’t count as a mental illness. And while it isn’t a diagnosable condition in itself, it can seriously affect your quality of life and lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

The need to please everyone around me came before my own wellbeing and my mental health suffered as a result.

How many of us experience severe stress?

Stress is a big issue for Britain today. In the UK’s largest ever stress survey, 74% of people said stress has made them feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. 16% of those suffering from stress had also self-harmed, while nearly a third said they experienced suicidal thoughts.

Which of these is NOT a good way to deal with stress?

It may seem like a drink can help you feel less stressed, but alcohol actually increases levels of cortisol – a hormone that raises stress levels.

Is modern life more stressful?

While there’s no proof that people today suffer more than previous generations, modern life has plenty of triggers that can make us feel stressed. From housing, career and money worries, to a desire to look good on social media, pressure can come from anywhere.

More than 8 out of 10 university students say they feel stressed, but how many of them would seek help?

In a 2017 survey, only 25% of students said they would ask for help. While the other three quarters claimed to be too embarrassed, thought it was a waste of time, or didn’t know where to go for support.

My lecturer encouraged me to go see my GP. I realised after that, I couldn’t continue what I was doing.

Can you pick out some of the common symptoms of stress?

Pick as many as you think

These are just some of the symptoms, but you can find out about more of them below.

Marta feels like the world is on her shoulders

Read Marta's story