Stress is our response to anything that threatens our physical, emotional, or financial health or survival. A stressor is an event or series of events that harm or threaten people and cause them to respond. When we suffer from too much stress for too long, it is called distress. Persistent, extended periods of negative stress can precede other issues that impact mental wellness. It is often difficult for people to distinguish between depression and stress.
Distress is extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain. Depression is a disorder that affects the biochemical balance of the brain and causes symptoms such as low energy, sadness, physical impairment, low self-esteem, and problems with thinking. Depression may be diagnosed when multiple symptoms are present for more than two weeks.
Anxiety disorders are the most common of all behavioral health conditions. Anxiety includes fears, apprehensive mood, feelings of dread, and worried thoughts and behaviors. Some types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression, substances abuse, and poor self-esteem.
Grief is the pain we feel related to loss. The pain can be felt emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically. Grief can be experienced because of death, divorce, or any number of losses. It is important that we recognize grief as one of the emotions we may be experiencing during difficult times.
Suicidal comments should never be discounted. Always respond immediately. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).