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

141, Finnieston Street
Glasgow
G3 8HB

11 Minerva Way
Finnieston
Glasgow
G3 8AU

1, Ropemaker Street
London
EC2Y 9AW

South Quay Plaza
185 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SH

61/10 Leith Street
Edinburgh
EH1 3AU

25 Beaconsfield Road
Glasgow
G12 0PJ

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

27 Withy Grove
Manchester
M4 2BS

142 East Pavilion, Harbour City
Salford Quays
Manchester
M50 3SP

1 Riverside Drive
Liverpool
L3 4EN

5th Floor, Ealing Broadway Centre
Town Square
London
W5 5JY

Unit 8, Parrswood Entertainment Centre
Wilmslow Road
Manchester
M20 5PG

Sheepcote Lane
(off Latchmere Road)
Battersea
SW11 5BW

Princess Park Manor
264 Royal Drive
London
N11 3BG

67 Lansdowne Road
Bournemouth
BH1 1RW

Winchester Road
Chandlers Ford
Eastleigh
SO53 2DW

Cottingley Manor
Cottingley New Road
Bingley
BD16 1TZ

Macbeth Approach
Gallagher Business Park
Warwick
CV34 6AD

82, Braidholm Road
Giffnock
Glasgow
G46 6ED

Beech Road
Headington
Oxford
OX3 7RP

2 Leighton Street
Leeds
LS1 3EB

The Capitol Centre
Walton-Le-Dale
Preston
PR5 4AW

Otley Road
White Cross
Leeds
LS20 8LY

7-10 Eagley Brook Way
The Valley
Bolton
BL1 8TS

The Crescent
Leatherhead
KT22 8DY

Letchworth Lane
(next to Letchworth Hall Hotel)
Letchworth Garden City
SG6 3NP

Weybourne Road
Farnham
GU9 9EL

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

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