In medicine, distress is an aversive state in which a person is unable to adapt completely to stressors and their resulting stress and shows maladaptive behaviors. It can be evident in the presence of various phenomena, such as inappropriate social interaction (e.g., aggression, passivity, or withdrawal).
Stress can be created by influences such as work, school, peers or co-workers, family and death. Other influences vary by age. This means that distress is the opposite of eustress, a positive stress that motivates people. People under constant distress are more likely to become sick, mentally or physically. There is a clear response association between psychological distress and major causes of mortality across the full range of distress.
People often find ways of dealing with distress, in both negative and positive ways. Examples of positive ways are listening to music, calming exercises, sports and similar healthy distractions. Negative ways can include but are not limited to use of drugs including alcohol, and expression of anger, which are likely to lead to complicated social interactions, thus causing increased distress.
- Recognition and Alleviation of Pain and Distress in Laboratory Animals(1992), Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, National Research Council
- Tom C Russ, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Mark Hamer, John M Starr, Mika Kivimäki, G David Batty. Association between psychological distress and mortality: individual participant pooled analysis of 10 prospective cohort studies
|This medical article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|