When a Little Stress is Really Stress Disorder
We have all probably heard that too much stress is bad for our health, in much the same way that overindulging in fast food, cigarettes, or alcohol can be. Indeed, it is one of the leading causes of illness, even though most people who pay their doctor a visit don't realize that their condition was probably caused by a stress disorder.
But stress is unavoidable. Our everyday routines are lined with worry, even if it's only the problem of burning the toast in the morning and fighting traffic congestion. How much stress is too much? At what point does it become an illness? It helps to understand the nature of stress disorder.
The Nature of Stress
Stress really just refers to your body's reaction to the world, to change, both internal and external. When we say we are "stressed out" we probably mean that our body has grown tired, anxious or frazzled from these interactions. We have lost our balance, our ability to deal with the constant stream of changes of interactions that we must face each day.
Stress Eats Energy
Some medical professionals believe that we all have a finite reserve of energy to deal with a stress disorder. Some of us have a higher threshold of energy than others. For instance, some us cannot handle too much stimulation after a long day's work, while others seem to thrive on being busy for most of the day. Whatever your threshold, when you sense that your energy reserve has become depleted, you will begin to feel that "stressed out" feeling.
What happens when we become stressed out?
Our emotions become confused and entangled. We may feel anxious and depressed one moment, then simply tired and lethargic the next. Excesses of stress disorder may interfere with clarity of mind, ability to sleep well (or at all), ability to concentrate, eat, interact normally with others, an overall feeling of malaise or restlessness, surges in hormones that result in oily skin and hair, weight gain or weight loss, and a host of other undesirable effects.
How Much Is Too Much Stress?
How much is Just Enough?There is no doubt as to what is too much stress. If you find yourself not being able to function normally, you are too stressed. If friends or family members seem worried about you, comment as to your appearance, you likely have too much anxiety. If you find yourself suffering from insomnia, unable to concentrate, emotionally unstable, or just feel "burned out," you are most likely over-stressed.
With doctors increasingly talking about the importance of stress disorder control, many people are beginning to wonder, how much is OK? The truth is that stress is important in leading our everyday lives. We need that 'push' that it gives us to meet deadlines, goals, and just get through the day. The trick is balance this 'necessary' stress with things that bring you joy, relaxation and rejuvenation.
The Fine Art of Stress Management
More than ever before, the importance of stress disorder management is being discussed, written about, and studied. Too much worry can sap your health and vitality. But in a world that seems to run on the power of stress, what can you do to keep it under control. The key is to make the conscious decision to take charge of your life, and to do so in a healthy, energy-inducing way.
Many people try to quell their stress by smoking, overindulging in comfort foods, alcohol consumption, and drugs. In reality, these activities will only exacerbate the tension in your life, and if continued, may turn into serious health and/or addiction problems.
Daily Stress Routine
Once you've made the decision to alleviate your stress disorder in a healthy manner, you'll find that management is one of the best things you can do for your health and your life. Practice a daily routine of stress relief. Make a list of things you truly enjoy doing—things that you do only to please yourself. Perhaps you enjoy taking a luxuriant bubble bath, or playing the guitar.
Maybe gardening frees you from the day's worries, or making a telephone call to friends. Whatever you truly enjoy, make a habit of doing it every day. Many people find it easy to quell their stress disorder simply by 'zoning out' in front of the TV set, or indulging in their favorite food. While it’s fine to de-stress with your favorite TV show or snack on your favorite food, try to make a diverse list of things you can do. Whenever you're feeling a little funky, simply choose something from your list and let your anxiety melt away.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Explained
Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD can be found in several different types of people. It is defined as an anxiety disorder that is heightened when a person goes through a traumatic event. Violent personal assaults, natural disasters, accidents, military combat, and other traumatic and stressful situations that may occur all may be a cause of PTSD. If you have been through one of these acts, you can recognize PTSD through several different occurrences that may go through your mind.
PTSD is not anything that is limited to an age group or a type of personality. It is said that over 52 million Americans have post-traumatic stress disorder in a given year. If you have been through an experience that is traumatic in your mind, your brain will react by trying to rebalance the chemicals in your brain and justify the trauma that you have been through.
When you are in a situation that causes fear, there is a rapid response from your body that moves to the amygdala of the brain. This is supposed to protect you in those fearful situations. You will also produce opiates, which is used to mask pain.
Post-traumatic stress disorder will then take these bodily reactions and reuse it through the memories associated with the traumatic event, causing both the reactions from the brain and hormones to be reproduced at the same level. If you have PTSD, you can recognize it through several mental and physical symptoms. These symptoms will be diagnosed as PTSD if they last for more than one month.
The first way in which post-traumatic stress disorder can be recognized is through flashbacks occurring. These may occur when you are sleeping or when you are awake. Several who have been through a traumatic event may find that something will trigger the event that they went through, such as a situation or a noise. They will then react by believing they are back in the situation, causing them to take the same actions they did back then.
This is a trigger from the brain to protect them from what they have associated as the traumatic event. This can take the form of flashbacks while you are awake, memories or nightmares. Often times, when the date of the event occurs, the person with PTSD will automatically flash back.
Another part of post-traumatic stress disorder is the emotional and psychological attachments of the memories. Depression, anxiety and uncontrolled anger are a few of the reactions that will occur along with the flashbacks. These emotions are usually suppressed or uncontrollable in situations where one is reminded of the traumatic situation that they were in.
Physical Reaction to Stress
Another element of PTSD is the physical reaction that will occur during the flashbacks. Headaches, immune system problems, dizziness, chest pain, and discomfort in different areas of the body are often a part of post-traumatic stress disorder. If the trauma that you were involved in caused a certain part of your body to have a significant amount of pain, then the anxiety may react physically as well.
If you think that you may have PTSD, it is a curable symptom. Therapy to re-live the experiences that were traumatic to you is one way in which you can cure this mental disorder. Through this reliving, you are able to be in a controlled environment, where you can take back the control, which you felt like you lost when living through the traumatic event.
Talk Through Your Experiences
Another way in which you can treat post-traumatic stress disorder is through talking about your experience soon after it happens. There are several places that will debrief someone after they have been through an experience. This causes the traumatic experience to not be internalized as much, allowing you to not have to go through the same reactions. By not allowing the emotions and anxiety from the event to be suppressed, it eliminates some of the PTSD from being given a chance to occur.
Having post-traumatic stress disorder is a natural way for the brain and body to communicate with you about a traumatic situation. Through flashbacks, mental symptoms and physical problems, you can easily recognize PTSD. Allowing yourself to get help for it can help you in relieving these symptoms and moving back to a normal life, away from the trauma that occurred.
Coping Skills for Kids Suffering from Stress Disorder
The changes that are occurring in the world are causing several children to suffer from stress disorder and other mental problems. If you think that your kid is suffering from stress, there are several coping skills that you can offer in order to allow them to live their lives as most children do.
Stress from your child can be defined by several factors, both large and small. Usually, any situation that includes a change or adaptation that a child has to make will cause anxiety. From this, your child will react emotionally, usually which is attached to negative emotions. Most children will learn how to respond to stress by observing how others around them are responding
The first thing to do when helping your kid to cope with stress disorder is to identify the problem. Whether they have been through a natural disaster, traumatic incident, or are suffering from regular stresses of school and friends, you can help your kid to cope. If stress is not recognized from your child, it can lead to suppressed feelings that may come up twenty years later. By responding to the problem right away, it will help your child to overcome the event that the child is stressed over.
Observation of Life Occurrences
You can observe your child first to see whether they are stressed out over something that is occurring and changing in their life. Sometimes, they will have physical symptoms, such as headaches, upset stomach, or physical illness. Depending on the age of the child, they will be known to respond differently. You can also look for things such as trouble sleeping and nightmares. These are often defense mechanisms that a child has in order to be able to communicate with you at a sub-conscious level about what is stressing them out.
You can also look at unexpected changes in behavior or emotions. If they are afraid of things, seem anxious, or become angry and sad without anything occurring, then it is a communication to you that they are suffering from stress disorder. They may also become aggressive or stubborn. Many children will either become dependent to their parents, afraid to let you out of sight. Others will decide to stay away from others completely, isolating themselves because of the emotions. These, as well as other emotional signs, will tell you that your child is stressed.
The first thing to do in response to your child being stressed is to make sure that you have the right environment set up for your them at home. By keeping a calm and relaxed environment, it will automatically get your child to respond. One of the things that you can do is play music that you know will relax and calm them.
Provide Relaxing Activities
You can also respond by providing activities, such as art and physical exercise. Keeping the television off is also an important factor, as this often causes more stress for the child. Unless it is an educational or relaxing program, it is best to not use the television as a coping method. This can be helpful in causing the stress disorder to move to a lower level. Having certain activities that will relax the child help them to relieve their anxiety levels. This, as well as the relaxed environment, can help the child to sort out the problems in their own mind. By allowing this, it will help in allowing the child to become more in tune to their feelings.
After you know that your child is becoming more relaxed in the home environment, then you can approach them. Be sure to spend plenty of time in participating with their activities. You should also begin to talk to your child about what is affecting them. Having them express their feelings about certain incidents as well as helping them in recognizing the differences in these feelings will help in relieving the stress.
Another important thing to keep in mind is how you respond to your child when you are talking to them. It is essential to provide support when they are discussing their emotions, behaviors and problems. By showing love and compassion towards their feelings, it will allow a safe environment for them to come to in order to relieve their stress disorder. It is important to remain encouraging with questions they ask as well as when they speak openly to you about their concerns.
By recognizing stress in your child, you can help them learn how to cope. The next steps involved in dealing with this stress are setting up the right environment for them to be in. This will naturally help them to relax. After this, you can begin talking to your child and allowing them to express the problems they are having with their stress disorder and changes that are occurring. By following these simple steps, you can help your child be relieved of the anxiety that they have and allow them to become involved in daily activities again.