Healthy Living (Wellness & Prevention)

Stress in a Broad Perspective - More Than Merely a Mental Illness!!

Written by Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md. and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Image: Stress in a Broad Perspective - More Than Merely a Mental Illness!!

What Do You Think Is Stress in Your Daily Life?

Stress is not just a mental illness. It is not merely a disease of your brain and not always mean that you have a serious psychiatric disorder. It is a multi-factorial disorder including general physical wellness, issues related to chronic diseases, and is very well researched and perfectly being treated in internal medicine.

Many people feel stress as only a psychiatric illness and because it is sometimes taken as a stigma if you go for a psychiatric evaluation, huge number of patients remain undiagnosed and untreated for years. The new clinical approach introduced by modern science is to spread awareness amongst masses that stress has many aspects and they should be encouraged to discuss the problems freely with their Primary Care Provider (PCP). He will screen the patient and if needed he may also refer the patient to an appropriate psychiatrist. But major bulk of patients get counseling and proper treatment right by their PCP and it also lessens the workload of mental illness hospitals and psychiatrists.

Most of us take stress as a part of our daily life and has become used to stress so much as we do not even know that we are sick. Chronic stress makes our inner self hollow by damaging the personality and soul. Stress has two forms:

Healthy Stress:

It is a positive and sparkling constituent needed to excel in life. If somebody has it, he is actually healthy. But the problem is when somebody loses this stress, it is same as he has lost his self-respect and he is no more himself. To get this concept I usually put an example to my patients:

Think of a student who has his final examination after one month and he has no worries regarding that and is not preparing for that too. Now he is sick actually. He should have a 'healthy' examination stress enough to make him motivated to prepare for the examination.

Unhealthy Stress:

This is damaging, unnecessary and devastating stress and makes us sick over time if not properly handled. This can be handled if it is diagnosed in the very beginning and the cause of stress is treated timely. Regular visits to your Primary Care Physician are necessary to keep the things under control and get yourself screened for stress.

How Stressed Are You?

This is a very difficult question and even a learned person cannot make up with proper answer. I have devised a questionnaire for my patients and they have to check the stresses they have in their life. When they take this filled out questionnaire back to me it makes the picture clear. Catharsis is the best way to take the fears out of our inner self and to diagnose how stressed we actually are. This questionnaire form below fulfills this purpose perfectly. You just have to read and mark against the one which applies to you right now. For your ease I have put them into groups so that you may have a clear picture that how much stress you have from each mentioned category.

Test Your Brain/Mental Wellness:

  • Do you have problems with concentrating on important tasks of everyday life?
  • Do you have difficulty in making life's important decisions easily without the help of others?
  • Do you think your life is of no worth?
  • Are you anxious mostly and have flight of thoughts?
  • Are you a person who remains worried most of the time?

Test Your Emotional Wellness:

  • How is your mood most of the time? Do you lose temperament with just a simple ignition of something that happened around you, for example: Do you get irritable just with the simple mistake of someone at road traffic, no matter it never was going to hurt you?
  • Can you relax whenever you have some time to do so?
  • Do you have a control over your anger?
  • Do you think your life tasks have ended and there is nothing left to do anymore?
  • Do you feel you are lonely and/or do you like to remain lonely?
  • Have you felt yourself depressed most of the time and almost never happy. Is there some worth of happiness in your life?

Wellness and Your Behavior:

  • Do you eat perfect; not more or less?
  • How normal is your sleep; not more or less?
  • Do you feel happy while you are with others?
  • Are you willing and ready to take the responsibilities of life?
  • Do you need to take the support of illicit drugs, alcohol and cigarettes to relax?
  • How social are you?

Physical Wellness of the Body:

  • Do you have pains in most parts of the body?
  • Do you have chronic or acute diabetes, hypertension, thyroid, liver or kidney disease?
  • Do you have gastrointestinal system issues like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach acidity and heartburn?
  • Do you have asthma, COPD or any other lung disorder?
  • Do you feel nauseated, dizzy and have vertigo and loss of balance?
  • Do you have loss of libido (sex drive)?
  • Do you have some issues with your vision?
  • Have you been diagnosed with migraine?
  • Do you get cold, flu, allergy, red and itchy eyes very easily?
  • Pain in the chest, irregular heartbeats and/or can you feel your own heartbeats. Do you have a known cardiac issue?

If you have 2 or more of the above mentioned symptoms, it is the high time to get yourself checked by your PCP as there may be a serious medical illness or chronic disease disturbing your life routine and making you feel sick and stressed all the time.

Get started today and consult a psychiatrist online -->

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



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