Causes of Distress
Distress is a particular kind of stress that many of us will undoubtedly experience at some time in our lives.Many of us think of distress as being the emotion felt in a situation that is perhaps life threatening or frightening. For example, seeing someone hurt in an accident can be considered distressing.
Good and Bad StressStress is broken down into two categories: good and bad. Distress is classed in medical circles as a negative stress.
Eustress for example would be considered a good stress – or to give it its medical term – a positive stress. Eustress is the feeling of excitement that we feel in our lives when – for instance – we purchase a new car or find that we have won a prize or feel loved. This is a positive – or good – stress.
As already indicated distress is a negative stress or negative emotion. But it is not solely limited to events such as witnessing an accident or being involved in an accident or feeling that we are in mortal peril.Distress can be felt in any of the following:
- The death of a loved one
- Relationship difficulties
- Terminal illness
- Financial hardship
- Difficulties at work
This is because the mind runs wild with a variety of different thoughts and emotions, which are very vivid and become not just thoughts but very real possibilities.
Times of DistressGrief is often referred to as distressing because it leaves the sufferer feeling isolated and many people who have experienced grief will say that they have simply gone through the motions without actually being aware of what they are doing. Many people who have suffered the death of a loved one find that they are unable to carry out simple tasks like cooking, cleaning or looking after themselves because the level of distress they feel leaves them with a feeling of nothing matters anymore.
Distress – as we have also detailed – can affect people who have suffered a break down in their marriage or long term relationship. This can be seen by many as almost as bad as the death of a loved one because the other partner is no longer around.
Relationship counsellors have documented over the years how people going through this experience suddenly become withdrawn, lose interest in their appearance, suffer problems at work and can turn to alcohol or other substances as a means of simply existing. This is another way in which distress manifests itself.
Are Your Really Distressed?When we say that we are distressed this is sometimes an exaggeration; we may feel low or lacking in self-esteem for a time but we can normally pick ourselves back up and carry on. Real sufferers of distress often find that this stress can then go on to become chronic stress, which then leads to the onset of physical ailments such as high blood pressure, eating disorders, heart problems and the like.
If you or someone you know is suffering from distress medical advice should be sought as soon as possible to reduce the risks of the problem becoming more deeply embedded in the sufferer's psyche and manifesting itself as a more severe issue.