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Ashford: Don’t let stress get the better of you

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 31/10/2013 15:03:30

If you suffer from stress, you're not alone; it's one of the most common conditions experienced by people in the UK.

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is calling on local people to think about how stress affects their lives to mark National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday 6 November, and to find ways to combat it.

Stress itself is not a medical diagnosis, but severe stress that continues for a long time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or more severe mental health problems.

Dr Obi Okoye, lead GP for mental health at NHS Ashford CCG says: “We all get stressed from time to time, so it’s important that people have an awareness of stress related symptoms and coping mechanisms.  People sometimes feel that being stressed is a weakness, but some stress is a healthy and normal reaction.

“If stress is starting to overwhelm you, it’s important that you seek help and talk to someone.”

Stress can be caused by many things, but often involves change and a lack of control over what is happening. Some of the causes of stress are happy events, but because they bring change or make unusual demands, they can still be stressful.

Some of the most stressful events are:
• moving house
• getting married
• having a baby
• bereavement
• serious illness in yourself or a friend or family member.

Stress is also caused by long-term difficult circumstances, such as:
• unemployment
• poverty
• relationship problems
• caring for a disabled family member or friend
• difficulties at work
• bad housing
• noisy neighbours.

The theme of this year’s National Stress Awareness Day is ‘Going the Extra Mile’ and focuses on the effect of stress in the workplace. When organisations are stress-free, says the International Stress Management Association which sponsors National Stress Awareness Day, the energy, enthusiasm, motivation and concentration of workers enables them to go the extra mile. In contrast, when they are stressed, performance at work can be poor.

Organisations should help people to avoid stress, enabling them to perform at their peak.

If you are stressed and need support, visit the Live It Well website, www.liveitwell.org.uk for information, including tips on five ways to wellbeing. You can also phone the 24-hour Mental Health Matters Helpline on 0800 107 0160 or visit your GP.

People with depression or anxiety may benefit from talking therapies. You can speak to your GP about this or refer yourself – details of how to do this are on the Live It Well website.


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