- New job
- Illness of a close relative
Amazingly, in my experience, many, possibly even most, people breeze through these experiences without needing to be signed off work excessively. Humans cope.
What I think insufficient work has been done on is the cumulative effect of mini-stresses. You can probably cope with a car break down, a broken window, a visit from an unpopular relative, a busy week at work and a niggling back ache. Separately. Receive them all together and it is hard to find respite from things that are problems. Everywhere you look you find something not quite right.
Take a piece of paper and allocate a score against all the things that are stressing you right now on a scale where bereavement etc scores 10. You may feel, in the light of this, that the broken window is only worth 0.5 but you can soon see that twenty little things like this will feel as stressful as a major event.
I'm not sure I yet have a full solution as to what to do about it but at least it may help you to understand why you feel like you feel.