Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but it can lead to psychological strain and difficulty coping with life's demands. Although a variety of non-specific symptoms such as headaches, disturbed sleep, depression, anxiety, irritability or substance misuse may result when individuals are stressed, there is generally little evidence that such symptoms are a direct result of particular stressful events. Rather, they are non-specific and can be precipitated by a variety of other causes, including other stressors to which the individual may be exposed. The issue becomes more complex when stress occurs in the occupational arena because of issues of confidentiality and the sometimes competing interests of patients, insurers and employers. In addition, organisational problems related to work stress, such as high absenteeism, high staff turnover, industrial disputes and poor quality control (leading to inferior products and reduced competitiveness for the organisation) may further complicate matters.
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