Blog Students Advice For Students Dangers of Delayed Stress: Are You Experiencing The Let-Down Effect?

Dangers of Delayed Stress: Are You Experiencing The Let-Down Effect?

Phew! You’ve just finished your exams.

You try to relax your mind in the library, assured that after the period of stress, you will be back to normal; You can sleep, catch up with friends, and relax again.

But will you, actually?

Yes, it hadn’t been noticeable at first, but something seems wrong with your body. What is this pressure you’re still feeling?

Here comes a period of delayed stress: the “Let-Down effect”. It eats up your health, spawning illness and all sorts of jinxes as you sit there, utterly confused. Why is this happening to me?

So, What is the Let-Down Effect?


Make no mistake, this isn’t something like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) where roots of its diagnosis comes from unresolved traumas.

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The Let-Down Effect is a real psychological-physical phenomenon that occurs even after the resolution of a stressful situation!

We don’t project our anxieties and insecurities when dealing with serious matters like a family emergency, a project deadline, or some adrenaline-pumping sport. But in the end, those uncomfortable feelings don’t go away automatically. Naturally, you’ll want to start relaxing and recover from stress. 

Your body needs to release that mental tension, so you do it all at once.

This delayed stress, however, came too fast, too quick for some. As a result, the patient experiences the backlash all at once as they de-stress too rapidly. Imagine “the equivalent of going from 100mph to a dead stop in a car. It’s not good for your car, and it’s not good for your body.” says Dr. Anita.

As we’ve teased in the article intro, patients experience real deficiencies in their health during these episodes, oftentimes in large and painful bursts. It is not surprising for such individuals to wind up in the emergency room to get treated. 

From headaches, stomach issues, skin conditions or breakouts, if you leave yourself exposed to the Let-Down Effect without properly de-escalation, the condition can make you vulnerable to all sorts of illnesses!

Why Did the Let-Down Effect Happen to Me?

We won’t bore you with the science behind the Let-Down Effect. But to answer the question of “How” and “Why me?”, we’ll simply boil it down to causes and culprits.

Cause: Your immune system becomes more vulnerable after periods of stress!

Culprits: Besides exams, perhaps work pressure? Or maybe confrontations with family and friends. Basically, recall the one thing that struck you the most as uncomfortable recently, that may have been the start to the condition.

You see, a common assumption that you would make is that your body gets sick ONLY while you are in the midst of a stressful event. While there is some truth in this, the human body is usually able to protect itself even as stress peaks. HOWEVER, it becomes doubly susceptible to attacks when the worst is over!

The levels of stress one can take, varies from person to person. Thus, the common patients for the Let-Down Effect tend to be those who had underestimated how much stress they had accrued, and took recovery for granted. 

Some of us may have already been in the process of getting sick while amidst the period of stress, but simply did not realise it as our body goes into a “defence mode” to prevent us from experiencing its symptoms.

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Signs and Symptoms: What Does the Let-Down Effect Do To Me?


Victims of stress are usually self-aware as it is often accompanied by health issues and a strong deficiency in their mentality. As you might have noticed, the Let-Down Effect can be seen to share most traits with the symptoms of slow-burning stress. 

The easiest way to tell if you’re suffering from a Let-Down effect is the following. Well, since it’s more than likely that you’ll be contracting quite a few from the list, we’ve made a bingo sheet to illustrate our point!

These are the symptoms that commonly occur during the period caused by the Let-Down Effect.


Stomach Pain Skin Outbreak
Depression/Anxiety/Decreased Motivation/ Unable to Express Strong Emotions Panic Attack/Mood Swing/Irritability Allergic Reaction/Flare-up
Change in Sleep Pattern Binge Eating


Take a look, did you get a bingo? Now you know!

How Do I Recover From the Let-Down Effect?


Now, we’re not leaving you to dry here. Here are some coping strategies and self-care practices that you can do to mitigate the impact of the let-down effect!

According to Dr Schoen, author of “When Relaxation Is Hazardous to Your Health”, awareness is the first step to de-escalation! 

To prevent the Let-Down Effect, it’s best to relax little by little, keeping both the mind and body busy to keep the immune system active. For example, you can do activities that give the immune system a small boost, like taking a quick run, a brisk 20-minute walk, or climbing three flights of stairs. These short bursts of exercise can help your immune system.

Engaging in mental activities, like solving crossword puzzles against the clock, can also be helpful. “Some studies suggest that doing math problems quickly can actually boost the immune system,” says Schoen.

Breathing exercises are another way to give your mind and body a break from a stressful day. By purposefully slowing down our breathing and taking deep breaths using our abdomen, we can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and calm down brain activity.

Two is Better Than One


If you find yourself feeling roughened up beyond what you can handle, there is no shame in seeking professional support. Consult with healthcare professionals, therapists, or even one-to-one counsellors. 

Address the psychological implications at their roots, have a listening ear. Seek someone out so that you’re alleviated of some of the stress of dealing with it alone.

Find Your Own Way to Balance Your Mental Health


According to Paul Rosch, MD, who is the president of the American Institute of Stress and a clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medical College, stress is different for everyone, so there isn’t one solution that works for everyone. 

“Exercise, meditation, or yoga might be fantastic for some people, but for others, it can feel boring and even cause stress if they have to do it without really wanting to. You have to find what works best for you,” says Rosch.

But hey, if you’re unsure, starting off with a power nap wouldn’t hurt!

Even If It’s Common, Don’t Overlook the Dangers of Stress!


You know, we can talk about stress and its dangers all day.

Stress, like any other illnesses, is a contributing factor to one’s health, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that stress is bad. What we want to share today isn’t just the comprehension of the Let-Down Effect.

Ultimately, we want to open up a discussion on how each and every one of us perceives and deals with stress. We want you, the reader, to reflect on how you’ve dealt with stress growing up and now. Are you mentally healthy? Do you feel happy with where you are at, spiritually? What triggers you often? Are you taking steps to avoid or confront it?

Ask yourself questions actively, so that you can, too, recognise the dangers of delayed stress. It may come as an obvious fact, but managing stress properly is only possible with self-awareness.

Know the symptoms, and learn to manage stress in a healthy manner!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.