What Is Psychological Distress? | Symptoms & Treatment

Last Update on March 12, 2021 : Published on March 13, 2021
What Is Psychological Distress

“We are never devoid of distresses; our peace of mind depends on our heart’s way of accepting the strife” – Munia Khan

When you feel or experience feelings of vulnerability, fear, confusion, or trouble, it can be referred to as psychological distress or mental distress. While it is normal to feel overwhelmed,  fatigued, and tired now and then, psychological distress occurs when what you feel is intense and more profound.

Experiencing symptoms of psychological distress, however, does not mean that you might have a mental health disorder. Feeling psychological distress can be overwhelming but with some help from professional therapists and counselors, you can overcome its long-term effects.

When someone experiences psychological distress, their causes of stress can hugely affect their symptoms. For example; if you’re going through a job loss, you may feel frustrated, anxious, angry, and uncertain about your future. While it may not affect your mental health greatly, it can affect how you function in your day-to-day life.

Also Read: How Cyberbullying Can Cause Psychological Distress?

Psychological Distress: Symptoms

The symptoms of psychological distress can vary from person to person. An example; if you and a friend of you were in an accident, then one of you may experience a fear of riding in a car again whereas the other might feel something else entirely.

Some of the symptoms of psychological distress can however be:

  • Feeling angry
  • Having obsessive thoughts or compulsions
  • Experiencing phantom physical symptoms
  • Feeling of anhedonia
  • Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
  • Having impulsive or reckless behavior

Some of the most common or obvious signs of mental distress can be:

Also Read: Panic Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdown: Know the difference

If the symptoms of psychological distress become intense, it is recommended you seek professional help as soon as possible.

If you want to learn how to manage the symptoms of psychological distress, then first you need to identify your stressors. Some of the factors causing you distress can include:

  • Changes in relationships
  • Changes in career/jobs
  • Major lifestyle changes
  • Experiencing traumatic injury
  • History of trauma

How To Overcome Psychological Distress

Unchecked psychological distress can affect a person’s overall well-being but there are some self-help ways you can do to manage the distress. You can try:

1. Physical Exercising

One of the benefits of physical exercise is that it can help improve your psychological as well as physical health. Exercising can help release endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer. Endorphins can help reduce stress and improve our mood.

2. Getting Proper Rest

Not getting proper rest can result in sleep deprivation and can increase your anxiety and distress. Getting at least 6-8 hours of good sleep can help your body and mind reboot which can help with your psychological growth and development. Balancing your physical exertion with enough rest is important to keep your stress levels low and to improve your overall health.

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3. Maintaining A Healthy Diet

The lack of a healthy well-balanced diet can contribute to your psychological distress instead of helping you. There are some foods and diets that can help you improve your mood or regulate the symptoms of depression whereas some foods and diets can harm your mental health.

10 Mood-Boosting Foods To Increase Happiness

14 Best Foods That Help To Reduce Anxiety

4. Writing In A Journal

I believe that writing down your thoughts in a journal can help release the frustration and worries. Penning your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you feel in control and can also help you identify your stressors.

If you see a recurring pattern in your thoughts and actions and if they seem severe and are affecting your daily life, then it is recommended that you seek professional help.

Also Read: What’s A Worry Journal & How It Can Help You!

Final Thoughts…

Psychological distress can be quite frustrating and can feel overwhelming but with the help of the above-mentioned tips, you can learn to manage the symptoms on your own. If you need professional therapists or counselors, you can always contact us at info@calmsage.com

You are important so take care of yourself!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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