Recognising distress

We've all experienced feeling distressed, but why does it happen?

A sense of distress occurs when we feel that we cannot meet a demand placed upon us.

For example, having lots to think about at once or being in a situation that we can't control might cause us to experience feelings associated with distress.

Physical and behavioural symptoms of distress

  • shallow breathing or hyperventilating
  • tired all the time
  • trouble sleeping
  • chest pains
  • high blood pressure
  • feeling sick, dizzy or faint
  • sexual problems
  • snapping at people
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling restless
  • finding it hard to make decisions
  • feeling tearful

Mental symptoms of distress

  • irritable or aggressive
  • a sense of being overwhelmed
  • anxious, nervous or afraid
  • getting no pleasure out of life
  • a sense of dread
  • unable to switch off
  • worried about your health

What you can do to manage distress

Experiencing distress is part of life, but that doesn't mean it has to control your life.

A range of therapies has been shown to help people manage distress. Whatever your situation and whatever your signs of distress are, Nuffield Health can offer you support.

You've probably also heard of terms such as depression and anxiety. These are types of distress and vary in severity. Find out more about depression and anxiety.

Choose a therapist near you

Justice Mill Lane
Aberdeen
AB11 6EQ

Mecklenburgh Place
Goodenough College
London
WC1N 2AY

83, Queens Road
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1QS

Wilcrick Place
Avondale Road
Cwmbran
NP44 1TX

25, Hosier Lane
London
EC1A 9PH

39, Queen Anne Street
London
W1G 9AZ

602 Marlborough Gate
Avebury Boulevard
Milton Keynes
MK9 3XS

240, South Oak Way
Lime Square, Green Park
Reading
RG2 6UL

Junction 1 Retail Park
Leicester Road
Rugby
CV21 1RW

4, Cousin Lane
London
EC4R 3XJ

15, New Mart Road
Edinburgh
EH14 1RL

37 The Broadway
Wimbledon
London
SW19 1QB

27 Essex Road
Islington
London
N1 2SD

King George's Park
Burr Road
Wandsworth
SW18 4SQ

Simpson Way
Surbiton
KT6 4ER

Richmond Road
Kingston upon Thames
KT2 5EN

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

Stirling Road
Guildford
GU2 7RF

Emotional wellbeing therapies
  • Choose from face-to-face, self-guided and expert-guided courses
  • Complete online courses at your own pace
  • Access therapists where and when it suits with our video appointments app

0333 123 4106

Ask us about our emotional wellbeing options

Email us or request a call back

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