- Stress refers to the reaction both physically and mentally of the person under crisis. Each individual has his or her own way of dealing with stress.
- When stress accumulates without relief, it can affect the daily life of the sufferer, potentially leading to depressive disorder or anxiety disorders.
- People who are unable to deal with stress, reaching a point at which stress begins to affect their own daily life or the lives of those around them, should consult a psychiatrist in order to receive appropriate advice and treatment.
The modern economy and society as a whole are a highly competitive environment. People are working harder to forge their careers. Consequently they are lacking quality of life. Moreover, technology has changed the way we communicate with one another, resulting in fewer face-to-face interaction. All these factors combine to increase our society’s accumulated stress levels which become difficult to relieve, eventually leading to more serious mental disorders.
Signs of increased stress levels
Under crisis, individuals reveal various signs and symptoms of stress reactions. Factors that determine the nature of such signs and symptoms include the severity and timing of the crisis, the specific meaning of the crisis for, as well as the coping skill of each individual. As a result, a great variety of symptoms can be found in stress reactions, such as anxiety, insomnia, depressed mood, agitation, headache or any other physical reaction of feeling uncomfortable. Some people may even develop delusion and hallucination.
Generally speaking, each person has their own way of dealing with stress, including unique techniques that help relieve any stress that may accumulate. However, some people experience stress for which they cannot find an appropriate release, or they may experience stress so frequently that it becomes an emotional burden which affects the way they lead their life. Such symptoms may eventually result in that person developing depression or anxiety disorders.
Spotting the initial signs of stress
- Insomnia: Stress can lead to a lack of sleep. When people suffer from insomnia for an extended period of time, it can affect their physical and emotional wellbeing to the point that it can cause depression or extreme emotional distress.
- A change in that person’s behavior: They may lose their usual, cheerful self, appear quiet, become bored and withdraw from others.
- Depression or anxiety: People with depression tend to feel gloomy and lack any form of happiness. Alternatively, some people may begin to feel extremely anxious about a range of issues, which can be clearly seen through their facial expressions, behavior or speech.
- Stress may present itself through physical symptoms: These include, for example, rapid breathing or the unintentional holding of breath, stomach pains, vomiting and headaches.
- In severe cases, patients may talk about wanting to die: This may sometimes sound like they are talking in jest. It is important that we pay great attention to what sufferers say, whether they are talking about it on social media or mentioning it in passing during general conversation.
Self-care techniques for when you feel stressed:
- Try and identify what is causing the stress and address that issue directly
- Exercise for 30 minutes per session, at least five days per week
- Get plenty of sleep and rest
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet and avoid drinks that contain stimulants
- Meet trusted friends, chat with them about your problems and laugh away your woes (if your friends are willing to listen)
- Modify your surroundings, such as decorating your home or re-organizing your work desk in a way that can offer stress relief. Grow your own plants or place flowers in a vase to refresh yourself.
- Watch a fun-filled movie or read a funny and exciting book
Treating the symptoms of stress
In cases where a person’s stress levels are significantly affecting their daily life or the lives of those around them, attending an appointment with a psychiatrist to receive appropriate advice and treatment is crucial. Psychiatrists will offer the following forms of treatment:
- Doctors will discuss the patient’s medical history alongside performing a general health checkup in order to provide an effective medical diagnosis and identify the causes of stress.
- Where stress is resulting in physical symptoms, such as insomnia, stomach pain or headaches, psychiatrists may prescribe medication to provide relief for such symptoms.
- Recommendations based on expert medical knowledge, communicated in an easy-to-understand manner and identifying the root causes of the condition, can allow for appropriate counseling in order to relieve the source of that person’s stress.
- Psychotherapy involves a special kind of communication between the therapist and the patient based on a positive therapeutic relationship with the patient, to provide the patient with a deeper understanding of his or her psychological condition, alongside identifying the patient’s defense mechanisms, so that they can be helped to work out the ways to overcome their problems.
Stress can affect anyone at any age. Most people are capable of finding ways to relieve their own stress. Some people have friends they can talk to in order to unload their mental burden. However, some people are unable to find a release for their stress, meaning that it can affect their own life or those around them. In such cases, a psychiatrist should be consulted in order to receive appropriate advice and treatment.