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Emotional Distress: What Are The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment?

Emotional Distress

Emotional Distress - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second Summary
  • Emotional distress is a condition that can be experienced by almost anyone.
  • Emotional distress can be triggered by a traumatic accident caused by other people or circumstances, such as financial strain or relationship issues.
  • Those who experience emotional distress often have feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Some people who suffer from emotional distress also exhibit physical symptoms, such as loss of stamina and unexplained body pains.
  • One of the common treatments for identifying and addressing emotional distress is cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Stress management strategies can help lessen the effects of emotional distress.

Emotional distress is a condition many people have already heard in their lifetime. At some point, people experience emotional distress but successfully overcome it.

What some people don’t know is that it has a more complex mental and emotional health factor. It is a situation that requires emotional support and understanding because it is something that can be experienced by almost anyone. 

If you are looking to gain more insight into emotional distress, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments, then you are on the right page. 

Continue reading below for more valuable insights regarding ways to improve mental health and stop stress burnout

What is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress is a term used to describe a state of mental anguish. It can manifest in various forms as a result of a particular circumstance or mental health problem. 

It’s quite tricky to stop stress burnout. The term emotional distress is also widely used in the legal field. It is legally defined as an unpleasant emotional reaction as a result of other people’s actions. This can manifest as fury, humiliation, and anguish and damages can be sought after. 

To prove that you are suffering from mental and emotional health distress in court, you need to provide evidence such as documents, witness testimonies, and other evidence related to the accident. These pieces of evidence can be supplemented by testimonies or pieces of evidence that demonstrate the severity of the accident. 

There is also such a health disorder called Emotional Distress Syndrome or better known as EDS. It is a result of cumulative effects, behavioral changes, and neurological processing differences associated with ADHD. It is a constant state of stress of a person with ADHD that affects their stamina, emotional tolerance, spiritual health, and overall well-being similar to the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, the good news is that EDS is a manageable condition and there are ways to improve mental health for patients suffering from it. However, it will require a lot of effort, self-control, and patience.

What is the Difference Between Emotional Stress and Distress?

Emotional Stress and Distress
Many people assume that emotional stress and distress are the same. However, that is not the case. Stress refers to the reactions to an internal or environmental perturbation while emotional distress pertains to a particular state when stress is prolonged, severe, or both. 

Here are some of the differences between emotional stress and distress: 

  • Welfare. The main difference between stress and distress is in welfare. Stress can be beneficial sometimes because it helps you adapt to difficult situations. It encourages us to use our coping mechanisms.

    However, once mental and emotional health stress is accumulated and prolonged and causes negative feelings, it turns into emotional distress.

  • Relief. Another difference between stress and distress is so-called relief. Most of the time, stress is relieved once the stressor is gone or the stressful situation ends. However, when you say you are experiencing emotional distress, relief is not easily found because the mind is conditioned to feeling stressed.

Cause of Emotional Distress

You need to identify the cause that can push a person in a state of emotional distress to know how to help someone with anxiety. There can be various causes for emotional distress and they typically include a combination of factors. Here are examples of situations that exhibit emotional distress and the factors included: 

1. Workplace

There is no denying that the workplace can be a stressful environment. Although some of the stress experienced can spark motivation, the others can be too overwhelming. 

To know how to help someone with anxiety, here are some stress factors in the workplace that can eventually result in emotional distress: 

  • Low wages
  • Long hours
  • Job security concerns
  • Increasing responsibility
  • Relationship with managers and colleagues

2. Home Environment

Another possible cause for emotional distress is the home environment. Knowing the possible triggers can lead you to ways of how to help someone with anxiety:

Relationship issues

  • Relationship issues with family members, significant other, or friends
  • Major life changes such as having a newborn child or moving to a new home
  • Neighborhood condition
  • Low income
  • Discrimination
  • Feeling isolated or lonely
  • Having debt
  • Unhealthy lifestyle

3. Traumatic Experience

Another cause for emotional distress is experiencing traumatic events. It can be any or a combination of the following:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Accident
  • History of abuse

Symptoms of Emotional Distress

One of the best ways to improve mental health is to know the symptoms of emotional distress. However, take note that these symptoms can manifest differently depending on the constitution and personality of a person. 

Here are the common signs that show an adult is suffering from emotional stress: 

  • Eating or sleeping excessively or too little
  • Pulling away from hobbies and relationship
  • Little to no energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Thinking of self-harm
  • Having difficulty in readjusting

Emotional stress can manifest differently in children. Here are some signs exclusive to children and teens: 

  • Withdrawing from friends and playgroups
  • Being more competitive for the attention of teachers and parents
  • Unwillingness to leave home
  • Sudden aggression
  • Conflict with parents and peers
  • Lack of concentration
  • Resisting authority
  • Underage drinking or misuse and abuse of prescription drugs

More often than not, children and teens are more vulnerable to emotional stress due to the lack of maturity. This is why they require proper guidance from adults to learn how to properly manage their stress to avoid being in a state of distress. 

Treatments for Emotional Distress

Treatments for Emotional Distress
There are several ways to improve mental health for someone who is suffering from emotional distress. However, the first step before doing any treatment is to identify the triggers or stressors. 

Once the factors are identified, you will be able to effectively determine which treatment is the best for your mental and emotional health. 

On that note, here are some of the common treatments to stop stress burnout

  • Cognitive Behavioral TherapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy is a common method of assessing and addressing the root cause of emotional stress.

    The method used is goal-oriented, problem-specific ways to improve mental health that focus on the present-day challenges, behaviors, and thoughts of the patient. However, this is only effective if the patient has an active involvement in the process.

    There are several variations of CBT that can help stop stress burnout, depending on the factor that triggers the stress, in the first place.

    A few examples of these ways to improve mental health are cognitive restructuring, guided discovery, exposure therapy, and behavioral experiments.

  • Stress Management Strategies. Another proven and effective way of how to stop stress burnout is through stress management strategies. Some examples of these strategies are relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises. 
  • Exercise. Exercise is also an effective way of how to help someone with anxiety. This is because aerobic exercises can help stabilize mood, improve self-esteem, and improve sleep by encouraging the production of anti-anxiety chemicals in the body.

help someone with anxiety

Frequently Asked Questions

Emotional distress can be caused by various accumulative factors. However, the most common triggers are relationship problems with friends or a significant other, major life changes, or a traumatic event. Identifying these stressors is one of the best ways to improve mental health.

Warning signs of emotional distress? - A person who is suffering from mental and emotional health distress may show signs of feeling hopeless or helpless. The person may also spend plenty of time worrying or being anxious.

However, there are ways on how to help someone with anxiety. This can include doing CBT and following stress management strategies.

Emotional distress can increase your heart rate and elevate blood pressure and stress hormone levels. It can eventually increase your risk of experiencing health issues such as stroke, heart attack, or hypertension.

To stop stress burnout, you can take supplements that can help you manage your stress levels. These supplements contain ingredients that help regulate your stress hormones.

When choosing a supplement that fights stress as part of how to help someone with anxiety, make sure that it is made with natural ingredients such as melatonin, L-theanine, and Glycine. It is best to opt for a drug-free choice to prevent developing dependency on the supplement.

One of the best-recommended supplements that fight mental and emotional health stress is Relaxia. It is a non-habit-forming and drug-free solution designed to fight against stress and anxiety. It also contains a blend of calming herbal ingredients. 

Final Words

Mental and emotional health should be your priority to have a longer life. However, there can be a lot of stress-inducing factors that could affect us.

Although how to help someone with anxiety can be quite difficult, the information mentioned above might help them avoid falling into a state of emotional distress. This is because you now understand its meaning and know about the different signs and symptoms to watch out for. 

If you think you have been affected by emotional distress, refer to the treatments suggested above for ways to improve your mental health.

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In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

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All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.