The same is true for us, generally. We are altered by stress, either sudden or chronic. Having awareness of stress triggers, how you are changed, what your patterned reactions are when stressed and having strategies to moderate the negative effects is key to managing stress well.
Some psychological / emotional effects of stress can be subtle or an avalanche.
1. emotional response like anger or rage (road rage for ex.) in reaction to interference (fight portion of the stress response: fight or flight)
2. anxiety or panic if the stress creates too much "unknowns" in our futures
3. sadness if the stress is related to loss, or anticipated loss.
4. cognitive distortions in our perceptions of events:
a. problems appear bigger than they really are (molehill becomes mountain)
b. problems perceived as smaller than they are (alcoholic)
c. thinking become "general or global" and "negative". A stressful phone call might cause one to utter "i hate my life"
d. increased sense of urgency or demand
e. thinking becomes obsessive and hyperfocused. Can not distract ourselves and attend to other matters.
f. escape fantasies (the flight portion of the stress response: fight or flight)
g. revenge fantasies