Stress - Stress and Mental Illness
Are stress and mental illness linked?
The effect of mental illness on stress
If you have a mental illness this may lead to stress. This could be because you:
- have to give up work because you are unwell,
- spend too much money when you were unwell and get into debt,
- are discharged from mental health services but don’t feel ready,
- don’t get on well with your doctor, care coordinator, or anyone else involved in your care,
- are worried about how long it will take you to recover from your illness, or
- are worried about side effects if you are taking medication.
The effect of stress on mental illness
If you have a mental health condition stress can make the symptoms of your illness worse. This can make it more likely that you will become unwell.
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can lead to you becoming unwell. For example, if stress lasts for a long time it can lead to anxiety and depression. Experiencing a very stressful or traumatic event could cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in some cases.
Many people use alcohol or drugs to relax and forget about their problems or cope with stress. However, using alcohol or drugs in this way is only a short term solution. It can make your mental health a lot worse in the long run.
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