Exhaustion stage is a level of stress in the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). GAS proposes that our bodies have an automatic, natural, and adaptive response to stress.
This response is comprised of three stages: alarm, resistance, exhaustion.
The exhaustion stage can result in physical or mental breakdowns due to the body's response to the stressor. During the resistance stage the body is working hard. Eventually the stress response cannot continue and the exhaustion stage sets in. This can lead to physical problems, health issues, mental disturbances, and even death. Different factors influence how an individual deals with stress including general coping and adaptive skills, health, inborn traits, and age.