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The role of stress on teachers' health

Teachers play a crucial role in towns across North Carolina. Over 50,000 elementary school teachers are fully employed, and that does not even include teachers in high schools or teaching assistants. 

While many people strive to become teachers, it is no secret the job carries a lot of stress. For the most part, teachers need to fulfill the roles of a mentor, educator, babysitter and nurse all in one. A little stress is normal, but an excessive amount can result in negative health consequences for the teacher. Under some circumstances, teachers may be able to receive some workers' comp for health costs related to stress. 

Health risks of too much stress

Stress can have a significant impact on a person's body. There are behavioral, cognitive and physical symptoms when a person has too much stress to deal with, and some of the main symptoms include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Constant fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness
  • Significant changes to appetite

These are merely the most immediate effects of excessive stress. The long-term consequences include:

  • Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Eating disorders and obesity
  • High blood pressure and heart disease

Stress as it relates to workers' comp claims

It is natural to feel stressed at work every now and then, so it can seem confusing trying to show stress-related health issues were a result of work. However, there have been cases of people who filed workers' comp claims and were able to prove in court that their jobs were directly causing excessive stress. For example, in the case Knight v. Audubon Savings Bank, an employee showed how she took anti-anxiety medications and how there were instances of her boss yelling at her. Stress is a serious problem that far too many people, employees and employers alike, ignore. Teachers should take care of their personal health, but talk with a lawyer if they believe their job causes an inordinate amount of stress in their life. 

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