Here’s why stress is not worth it, especially for your brain health

Stress can be good and bad, but overstressing is definitely not ideal for young adults. Learn how to mitigate it with small habits.
stress of layoffs
A sudden layoff can lead to a mixture of emotions, topped by stress. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Kersi Chavda Published: 14 Dec 2021, 09:45 am IST
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When we talk about stress, we find there is something called good stress and something called bad stress. Good stress is also called Eustress, and bad stress is called Distress.

What is good stress?

It’s similar to the certain amount of tension we experience before an exam that motivates us to put in our best efforts. For example, the kind of tension before giving an important presentation would make you go over and over whatever you are presenting so that you don’t make a mistake.

On the other hand, given the current pandemic situation, there has been an increase in overall distress. There has been an increase in horrible visuals that we see on television, which makes us very frightened. In this situation, a person’s brain is constantly stimulated and constantly in a state of distress. What then happens is the beginning of disequilibrium and a toppling over of the person into some type of psychiatric illness.

We have to remember that most of us are in a state of equilibrium, and we have certain things that balance us.

If there is a genetic component, for example, if somebody in the family has some kind of psychiatric illness or even physical illness, then the chances of them toppling over become much more than in the normal population.

Given the fact that about 20 to 25 percent of humankind is going to have a psychiatric illness, it is then not surprising that we find young adults, children, and the older generation having an increase in the kind of reactions in terms of psychiatric illness that are now being seen.

The amount of stress you take is in your hands. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The stress effect in young adults

A person, especially a young adult who is in the state of equilibrium but now suddenly gets over stressed, and bombarded with tension-provoking stimuli. This makes them land up reacting negatively. They can sometimes become mentally unwell.

The most common psychiatric illness that we still see is depression. But we also see anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, increase in addiction and sleep issues. Very often, there are issues related to feeding disorders or eating disorders.

This is very commonly seen in young adults because that is the age group where psychiatric illnesses start to manifest.

Often there are problems relating to their relationships and academic issues, as well as issues with concentration.

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We are seeing a huge amount of aggression.

It is also not surprising to see an increased suicidal intent and sometimes actual suicidal action.

Also Read: Taking occasional leaves just to de-stress is underrated

There’s no harm in seeking help when you need it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to control over stressing?

Probably the most important thing is awareness and education. All of us need to be aware that this does happen and that this happens in every economic status. This happens for both genders, and it is not a sign of weakness.

It is not a sign that the parenting you have been subject to is bad. It is just an illness like any other physical illness. Just like you would seek the help of a gastroenterologist if there is a gastric issue or seek the help of a neurologist if there is a neurological issue. So, you have to seek the help of a psychiatrist when there is an issue related to mental health. It is absolutely essential for us to be aware of this and do the best that we can to get this under control.

Once we seek the help of a psychiatrist, he/she will evaluate us and then figure out what needs to be done – either therapy, or medication or both.

Sound sleep will keep stress at bay. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In addition, there has to be some change in lifestyle to reduce stress, so it’s a good idea to get

  • Adequate amount of sleep
  • A sufficient amount of appetite
  • Not too much alcohol
  • No smoking or taking drugs
  • Indulge in some amount of physical activity and exercise
  • Don’t surround yourself with negative people

The last words

Probably the most important thing is to be aware that a mental illness is an illness and can be treated. It needs treatment. It is very unlikely to go away on its own, and it will only get worse with time if not treated. So, seek the help of a psychiatrist and figure out what you can do to get all the psychiatric illnesses that are the result of constant stress to come under control.

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About the Author

Dr Kersi Chavda is a renowned psychiatrist with over 30 years of rich experience in the mental health field. After completing MBBS, he pursued Diploma in Psychological Medicine at University of Mumbai. He has been associated with top medical facilities including P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai.Dr Chavda specialises in Bipolar Disorder, Stress, Anxiety and Depression. He is a former president of the Bombay Psychiatrist Society, and is currently a member of the Indian Psychiatry Society. He is also a founding member of NGO Prafulta that deals with mental health. ...Read More

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