STRESS RELATED DISORDERS

STRESS RELATED DISORDERS

Mental health disorders are quite common in our modern day society. Some of them are probably related to chemical imbalances in the brain. However, a large number of people do occasionally suffer from acute or chronic stress. This can be internal, for example, illnesses which are debilitating or progressing downhill. There are many external factors which can also cause stress, which can result from abnormal responses to acute or prolonged anxiety, fear of death or losing something important, in addition to poor coping skills and suffering from day to day life stressors. The result can be an acute stress reaction, or post-traumatic stress related disorders. Maladjustment to stress causes a significant amount of psychological trauma and illnesses, with possible resultant loss of work days and quality of life.

Stress is usually a normal psychological and physical reaction to a positive or negative situation in your life, such as a new job, being bullied or harassed, or the death of a loved one. Stress itself isn’t abnormal or bad. What’s important is how we deal with stress.

Some symptoms of stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Poor school or work performance
  • Relationship problems
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Worry
  • Trouble sleeping

If we’re dealing with stressful situations in our life, trying self help measures such as talking things over with caring family or friends, practicing yoga or meditation, getting regular exercise, and cutting back on your to-do list should help. If these techniques don’t help and you feel like you are still having a hard time coping, discuss this with your GP, or obtain a referral to a Psychologist/Psychiatrist.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition which is often triggered by a quite unexpected and terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. This may persist for a longer period of time than usual.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of ourselves, such negative traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can slowly become worse or last for months, or even years. Sometimes they may completely take over our life and make us very unwell. If such is the case, we may have post-traumatic stress related disorders.  Getting treatment as soon as possible after Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term illness.

Work related stress and effects:

This remains an important area which is quite contextual to current issues with work related stress, for example, issues with harassment, workplace changes, issues with job cutting, redundancy, GFC, etc. The list is quite tall, and is causing WorkCover claims and many people placed ‘off-line’ due to poor adjustment to their perceived or actual stressors. An overview is available at:

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/416/Workrelated_Mental_Disorders_Australia.pdf

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/DS00246

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd

http://www.sane.org/information/factsheets-podcasts/798-post-traumatic-stress-disorder