Emotional distress and stress
Emotional distress is when we fall on the right end of the spectrum. This can be identified by our thoughts and emotions, behaviors, daily functioning and physical health.
Signs of distress
- Change in sleep (sleeping too much, insomnia or disturbed sleep)
- Change in appetite (eating too much or eating too little)
- Upset stomach
- Unexplainable aches and pains
- Social withdrawal
- Bouts of uncontrollable anger
- Severe mood swings
- Inability to perform daily activities (household chores or maintain personal hygiene)
- Loss of interest in activities that are otherwise pleasurable
- Absence from college/work
- Drop in productivity at college/work
Thoughts and emotions
- Being emotional, tearing up easily
- Being worried, anxious or stressed out
- Thoughts of self-blame
- Hopelessness or helplessness
While it is natural for our mental health to dip in response to our environment, you may want to seek help if signs of emotional distress persist for more than two weeks. Emotional distress can also occur in response to a significant change in the environment, like a bereavement or a traumatic event.
Emotional distress can not only impact our daily life, but also our relationships, and our role in society.
Just like physical discomfort, emotional distress can get aggravated if we don’t seek help for it.
If you are experiencing symptoms of emotional distress, reach out and call our helpline or email us.
Stress is a response and a normal reaction of our body during difficult or challenging times and emotional distress occurs when stress is severe and/or prolonged. In stressful situations, our body tries to cope by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones give us an extra boost of energy and alertness to deal with the stress—by escaping, confronting, or hiding from the source of stress. Once the source of stress disappears, our bodies return to normalcy.
For instance, when you are about to give a public performance, you feel shaky in the legs—there’s a churning in your stomach, and you are suddenly very aware of your surroundings. These reactions are the work of the stress hormones and they help you prepare for your performance after which, your body returns to normalcy and you feel fine.
In the present-day though, a number of factors in our daily lives cause us stress—traffic, finances, exams, or even a deadline at work. Stresses like financial worry don’t disappear and tend to linger on as a constant source of worry.
In the face of prolonged stress, the body’s usual coping mechanism breaks down, resulting in a number of issues:
THE IMPACT OF PROLONGED STRESS
THE BRAIN’S ABILITY TO CREATE NEW NEURAL PATHWAYS
TOO MUCH CORTISOL DAMAGES THE ARTERIES
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood sugar
TENDENCY TO DEVELOP UNHEALTHY COPING MECHANISMS
- Recreational drugs
While stress is a part of life, prolonged stress can have a significant impact on our mental health:
- Difficulty with concentration
- Increase in alcohol, nicotine and drug use
- Difficulty with sleep
- Irrational fears
- Extreme weariness
- Worry without an identifiable source of stress
- Inability to relax
- Panic attacks
If you have been experiencing some of the above symptoms for over two weeks, reach out to Mann Talks, and talk to/write to our trained mental health professionals who will listen/respond.
Physical signs of emotional distress
Keeping an eye out for these changes in your body can help alert you about any changes in your mental health: