A key facet of long-term stress is the way that people can sustain intense levels of stress for a while, but then burn out.
Burnout is something that typically affects people who are highly committed to the work they do, probably much like you. When these people are faced by a stressful situation, more-often-than-not they respond with complete commitment, by working intensely hard at resolving it. To do this, they will work all hours, cancel vacations, and cut back on sleep, all to make more time to tackle the problem.
If this is short-lived, then negative effects will be minimal and success will often be spectacular. If this hard work is sustained for a long time without relief, these people increasingly risk burnout.
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