Anxiety is quite common, and in many cases, it is a good thing. Anxiety can help us feel attentive and help us accomplish important tasks. In addition, if we are too calm during certain situations, we can feel less motivated and perform poorly. However, too much anxiety leads to stress--thinking that the demands of situations or life in general are too much for us to handle. Stress can lead to physical problems such as difficulty sleeping, overeating or loss of appetite, depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, social isolation, relationship conflict, and substance abuse.
Life is constantly changing, adapting to change can be hard, and even beneficial life transitions can cause some stress. Changes such as marriages, births, and new jobs, are positive, but they may be accompanied by unique stressors. Other major life transitions, such as moving, retirement, or entering the “empty nest” phase of life, may cause significant stress. If you are having difficulty coping with life transitions, therapy can help you better adjust to changes and situations that you cannot control.
An Adjustment Disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness. It is a short-term condition that occurs when a person has a great struggle coping with, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress. Some sources include marriage, divorce, starting school or starting a new job. You may feel anxious or depressed, and normal daily routines may feel overwhelming. You have a tough time adjusting to a change in your life, and it has severe symptoms. Therapy can help you manage your stress and cope with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
TREATMENT: Psychotherapies that are effective for stress, life transitions, and adjustment disorders include--relaxation training/distress tolerance, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MCBT), problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy (minimum 5-10 therapy sessions recommended).
"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just AS important as our answers."
-FRED "MISTER" ROGERS
Helpful Links For Stress Management
- Nami.org Managing Stress fact sheet PDF
- American Psychological Association Stress fact sheet PDF
- CMHA Learn About Stress brochure PDF
- Stress strategies DIY stress management plan
- American Heart Association - Great resources regarding stress management and techniques to take control of your life.
- The American Institute of Stress - The American Institute of Stress is a nonprofit organization that provides information and resources about various causes and symptoms of stress, as well as materials for stress solutions and treatment.
- For more resources, please visit the Helpful Links Page
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