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    Stress Awareness Month – Sabrina Khan Part 2

    How do these causes of stress typically impact an individual’s life?

    The symptoms of stress are unique for each person, however, over time, there are some patterns and similarities in cases. Most people develop unhealthy coping mechanisms as there is not always the support around them or someone to confide in about how they feel.

    They may want to numb out or disconnect from people. You may see them being withdrawn and not wanting to take part in everyday activities.

    Some common coping mechanisms that people exhibit may be eating disorders – over/comfort eating or not eating at all, insomnia, drinking or abusing drugs to numb out their senses, self-harm, engaging in high-risk relationships, distractions and avoidance of issue that is causing stress. lack of self-care, not meeting friends or family, lack of healthy boundaries, unable to complete daily tasks, over analyse everything, feel what they are doing is not good enough, feel they are not good enough, fear rejection and abandonment, feel they don’t matter, impact on confidence-appears over confidence or low in confidence, hard to maintain relationships, health issues as a result of stress.

    What are some initial steps that someone could take in order to reach out for help?

    Talking to someone always helps. Whether you are having a rant to a friend or seeking help from a professional it all makes a difference.

    It may help you to know if talking to a friend what are your expectations. Are you wanting their advice? opinion? wanting them to problem solve? Or would you like them to just listen? If you know what you need from your friend, it may help to start by asking them or letting them know your expectations. “I just need you to listen to my issue about…” this helps your friend to know what you need and also for you to remember that your friends or family are not professionals and may not have the capacity to support you the way you need at that time.

    There are many free helplines and support services available free of charge so please check online for any specific services you may need. Also, most organisations have an Employee Assistance Programme and pay into a counselling service that provides a number of counselling sessions for free to their employees. You may need to check with your organisations. You speak to your GP and ask to be referred to talking therapies if you cannot afford private therapy. Just reach out and connect to someone there is always that you can speak to.