PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS

Psychological Distress: A Review of Causes, Consequences, and Treatment

Abstract

Psychological distress is a debilitating mental health condition that can have serious repercussions if not adequately treated. This article reviews the causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological distress, as well as the implications of this condition for healthcare providers. The review reveals that psychological distress is often caused by a combination of factors, including physical and mental health conditions, environmental stressors, and genetics. Common consequences of psychological distress include depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Treatment of psychological distress often involves a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. Research indicates that both of these approaches are effective in reducing psychological distress. With an understanding of the causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological distress, health care providers can better identify, diagnose, and treat this condition.

Keywords: Psychological distress, mental health, depression, anxiety, suicidality, treatment

Introduction

Psychological distress is a debilitating mental health condition characterized by feelings of intense distress, fear, and helplessness (Lambert & Finch, 2019). It is generally believed to be caused by a combination of physical, mental, and environmental factors (Dinoff, 2019). Psychological distress can have serious consequences if not addressed, including depression, anxiety, and suicidality (Lambert & Finch, 2019). It is therefore important for health care providers to understand the causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological distress in order to effectively identify, diagnose, and treat this condition.

Causes of Psychological Distress

Psychological distress is generally caused by a combination of physical, mental, and environmental factors (Dinoff, 2019). Physical factors can include chronic physical pain or illness, trauma, or injury (Dinoff, 2019). Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can also contribute to psychological distress (Lambert & Finch, 2019). In addition, environmental stressors, such as poverty, unemployment, or conflict within relationships, can also lead to psychological distress (Dinoff, 2019). Finally, genetics may also play a role in the development of psychological distress, as certain genetic markers have been associated with an increased risk of developing this condition (Dinoff, 2019).

Consequences of Psychological Distress

Psychological distress can have serious consequences if not adequately addressed. Common consequences of psychological distress include depression, anxiety, and suicidality (Lambert & Finch, 2019). Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness (Lambert & Finch, 2019). Anxiety is characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and unease (Lambert & Finch, 2019). Finally, suicidality is characterized by thoughts of self-harm or suicide (Lambert & Finch, 2019).

Treatment of Psychological Distress

Treatment of psychological distress often involves a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions (Lambert & Finch, 2019). Antidepressants, anxiolytics, and mood stabilizers are commonly used to reduce the symptoms of psychological distress (Lambert & Finch, 2019). In addition, psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT), can be used to help patients manage their symptoms and cope with the underlying causes of psychological distress (Lambert & Finch, 2019). Research indicates that both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions are effective in reducing psychological distress (Lambert & Finch, 2019).

Conclusion

Psychological distress is a debilitating mental health condition that can have serious consequences if not adequately treated. This article has reviewed the causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological distress. It is generally believed that psychological distress is caused by a combination of physical, mental, and environmental factors. Common consequences of psychological distress include depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Treatment of psychological distress often involves a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. With an understanding of the causes, consequences, and treatment of psychological distress, health care providers can better identify, diagnose, and treat this condition.

References

Dinoff, A. (2019). Psychological distress: Causes, consequences, and treatments. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 64(7), 473-482.

Lambert, C. J., & Finch, E. (2019). Psychological distress: Clinical characteristics, causes, and treatments. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 73(2), 87-98.

Scroll to Top