Patients experiencing an overwhelming feeling of dread accompanied by sensations of fear and panic could be experiencing the initial stages of psychological distress. If not addressed and relieved, these conditions can escalate into more advanced depression, anxiety, and social isolation. No matter the severity, the solutions are often far more straightforward than they seem.
In all truth, simply bringing your patients around to understand better what they are experiencing is often enough to initiate the changes that will bring them about solutions.
What is Psychological Distress?
On their way to a full recovery, a happy patient is confident in understanding themselves and what is happening within their minds. As a medical expert, you can place your patients on the path to full recovery by providing this enlightened perspective.
Many people will find ways to cope with the extensive symptoms that are natural to psychological distress. Most of the modern population faces many of the signs regularly. But even though most people will have their mental and even physical capacity impaired by confusion, stress, and worry, most can be spared from the more profound effects with a few small lifestyle changes.
Psychological distress can also be symptomatic of deeper mental conditions. It means that a more comprehensive approach when finding the best solutions for the needs your patient presents. But the pervasive effects now touch on every demographic in modern society, from the elderly to grade school children.
Sadly, most of the population will consider the debilitating effects as just another speed bump on the road of life and manage their symptoms personally.
The Effects Of Psychological Distress
No two cases are the same, and symptoms and degree of severity of psychological stress are very different from patient to patient. Two of the most critical factors in understanding the nature and severity of a person’s psychological distress are the primary cause of the pain and the symptoms manifested in the patient.
For example, a person who has lost a job may be feeling the anxiety of self-criticism coupled with the stress of an uncertain future. It may manifest in mental confusion and fatigue, poor health and eating habits, or even erratic behavior. But this might be a condition with mild severity, temporary effects, and quickly relieved with improved diet and exercise.
But someone suffering from mental, physical, or even self-imposed abuse may feel a greater degree of distress aggravating social interactions, new situations, and the thought of change. The symptoms may be far more severe in a case like this and include weight management issues, hallucinations, delusions, and more.
With a better understanding of the symptoms and causes of psychological distress, your patients may be able to consider their path to relief from mental anxiety.
Not two people will develop the same set of symptoms for similar conditions, and it is no stretch of the imagination to say that no two situations are the same. A single set of stressors can cause very similar people to react very differently. For example, two highly competent people experiencing the same structural determinants of health may respond in different ways.
One person may react to the pressure and tension of a demanding job by becoming obsessive over the fine details and developing unhealthy thought processes that can’t be fully controlled or adequately applied. Another person in the same position may feel anxiety over perceived “failures” and berate themselves for every error. This self-loathing and hostility can lead to self-neglect, weight issues, and even erratic behavior.
Some of the more common symptoms of psychological distress include:
- Panic Attacks
- Weight gain
- Passive aggressive behavior
- Decreased pleasure in sexual activities
- Unexplainable physical symptoms
- Reckless behavior
Without correctly identifying the causes of these symptoms and applying lifestyle changes, they can soon become more severe. Among the most severe symptoms are those where the patient experiences hallucinations and delusions. By the time symptoms reach this point, professional attention is not only necessary but mandatory.
Determining The Cause
After recognizing the symptoms, the next step to providing a suitable remedy for your patient is experiencing is identifying the triggers causing the psychological distress.
Sometimes, the triggers affecting your patient are very easy to identify by examining events in the patient’s life. Changes in city, profession, romantic breakups, death, accidents, and injuries can all be causes.
But others may not be as easily identified. Those suffering due to a history of poor illness, abuse, or seemingly disconnected life events can develop considerable degrees of psychological distress. For example, a patient with a specific physical condition may think that they are well-accustomed to the physical stress, but it can be harder to mitigate the impact on the psyche.
Emotional distress at work — the workplace is where most humans spend most of their lives, so it is also one of the most common sources of psychological distress. Of course, stress and pressure are an essential part of any driven profession, and indeed many people function very well in stressful and demanding occupations. But even the most die-hard adrenaline must balance out their professional life with rest and recovery, or they will head for a physical or psychological breakdown.
Some of the most common causes of psychological stress found in the workplace can include:
- Increasing responsibility
- Long hours
- Low pay
- Concerns about performance
- Relationships with colleagues or health information managers
- Concerns about job security
- A lack of control at work
- Poor working conditions
Causes of psychological stress in the workplace can often combine to cause more significant levels of distress. A study was conducted on the relationship between employee mental health and work week length. The study showed that those employees working over 55 hours in one week were more likely to develop anxiety and depression than those who worked a 35 – 40-hour work week.
Emotional distress at home — The home must be a place where the mind and body rest from the demands of social, academic, and professional pressures. But if the house is confused, angry, depressed, or desperate, it can be the most grievous of all psychological stress causes.
Some of the most common causes of emotional distress in the home can include:
- Experiencing relationship problems
- Living in a neighborhood that faces inequity
- Undergoing major life changes
- Feeling lonely or isolated
- Experiencing discrimination
- Debts and financial concerns
- Unhealthy lifestyles, including smoking and other addictions
- Low levels of exercise
- Junk Food Linked to Psychological Distress
The food we eat is more than just fuel for physical effort. Scientific evidence dating back to Ayurvedic medicine has always said that food is essential medicine. Eating has emotional and psychological impacts that can boost psychological fortitude and provide an overall feeling of wellness when properly applied.
Goal Conflict and Psychological Distress Linked—stress and anxiety are the plagues of our modern technological society. The need to remain at the cutting edge of the competition in social, professional, and academic circles can lead to conflicting goals and unpleasant mental turbulence. While everyone will experience conflicts in making life decisions, never in recorded history have humans suffered so much mental distress as they do today.
In a study conducted by the University of Exeter and Edith Cowan University, the effects of making difficult decisions were examined for their psychological development. Two types of goal conflicts were measured, “inter-goal” and “ambivalence.”
Inter-goal conflict occurs when the pursuit of one goal would be detrimental to the pursuit of another. Ambivalence refers to a decision charged with strong feelings about specific plans. The study found that both of these dilemmas can cause a considerable amount of psychological distress. They can even result in symptoms of anxiety.
Finding a Solution
If your patients have already reported these symptoms, they have taken their first and most crucial step to a full recovery. The next step will be finding the most suitable way to provide relief to this considerably unhealthy condition.
Exercise —regular vigorous exercise empowers the body and refreshes the mind. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body’s very own “feel good” chemicals. A lifestyle that includes physical activity and conditioning supports a stronger sense of self-worth and the capacity to change one’s reality.
Develop quality sleep habits — rest is one of the three primary functions of a living body and is essential to balancing physical effort and healthy nutritional intake. Studies on the connection between sleep quality and psychological disorders found that poor quality sleep can have the same effects like sleep deprivation techniques when used as a form of coercion.
It is as essential to get top-quality regular sleep as it is to enjoy a healthy diet. The sleep cycle is critical to recovering from the physical and psychological ordeal experienced every day. The sleep cycles are also important for repairing the tissues, resetting the immune system, and regulating the body’s chemical balance. When the body rests, it is ready to function at optimal levels. But demanding high output from an unrested body will always result in psychological distress.
Journaling — it has been well-documented that regular journaling can help manage stress levels and help patients better understand the distress they feel and what causes them to feel this way. It is easier to get a clear picture of destructive habits by noting frustrations, times, feelings, and associated information.
BioScan Testing — another effective way to better understand the psychological distress your patient is experiencing is Bioscan Testing. It provides you with a clearer picture of what is causing these stress conditions in your patients, thus providing you with an effective plan to mitigate the harshness.
Bioscan Technology can provide you with Galvanic Body Scan Readings from your patients. It is accomplished through collecting data on stress reactions symptomatic of stress via skin reactions. Once the data is collected, it can be compared to a database of known stressors with these same characteristics.
The whole process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. The information can then be used to help your patient find the most effective relief to their psychological distress.