What is the treatment?
Stress, when defined commonly, refers to the feeling that a person may experience when they are overloaded (mostly emotionally and psychologically) and they are struggling to cope up with the demands of everyday life, whether personal or professional. Stress is actually a mechanism of the body by which it protects you. When a person perceives danger, the body’s defenses start working and they exhibit a rapid, automatic response known as the ‘ fight or flight response’ or the ‘stress response’. When a person feels threatened, the nervous system releases a number of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and these prepare the body for an emergency response. The manifestations of this condition include increased heart beat, muscle tightening, high blood pressure, quicker breaths and sharpening of senses. These changes help a person to focus, speed his/her reaction time and also increases strength and stamina.
Stress can manifest itself in a number of different ways. The cognitive symptoms of stress include memory problems, anxiety, poor judgement, constant worrying and negative thoughts. The emotional symptoms may include depression, moodiness, anxiety, loneliness and isolation, a feeling of being overwhelmed and other mental problems. The physical symptoms include aches, pains, nausea, dizziness, loss of sex drive, rapid heartbeat and chest pain.
Some of the ways by which stress can be managed are being aware of how much stress a person is under, determine which factors are causing stress to increase in your life, taking charge and deal with the unhelpful sources of stress before they snowball into something unbearable and making prudent choices regarding your life so that he/she can deal with stress better. However, sometimes,a person may be prescribed sleep inducing pills or anxiety management medications if they are having too much difficulty in coping with stress.
How is the treatment done?
One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to lead an active lifestyle. Doctors all over world advise people to incorporate some exercises in their routine so that they can better deal with stress. Regular exercise helps to elevate the mood and allows you escape from the cycle of negative thoughts that cause stress. Exercises like running, jogging, walking, swimming and cycling help you to deal with stress effectively. If a person is feeling agitated or insecure, there is no better way to relieve stress than to have a face-to-face conversation with another human being. A friendly conversation with another human being helps to calm and soothe the nervous system. A person without any close social relationships should make it a point to develop strong bonds.
Engaging any of your five senses namely- touch, sight, sound, smell and taste can help to effectively deal with stress. A person might get de-stressed by eating or someone might feel relaxed by listening to his/her favorite song. Similarly, relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing help a person to reach a state of restfulness that is complete opposite to the state of feeling stressed. Regular practice of these techniques will help a person to deal with the symptoms of stress more effectively.
Finally, a healthy diet can go a long way to help a person to deal with stress. Food eaten can help to improve or worsen a person’s mood and so, it is imperative to include foods rich in proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet. Stress can be dealt with a proper night’s sleep. However, people are often prescribed medicines to deal with anxiety and depression by a doctor.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Any person can suffer from stress as it a normal bodily reaction to feelings of demand or threat. The treatment for stress normally does not include any medication but involves making substantial changes in the lifestyle of the concerned person. So a person is eligible for treatment of stress if he/she experiences the symptoms associated with stress. There can be different types of manifestations of the symptoms of stress. They are physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral. A person can undergo treatment if he/she experiences any of these symptoms.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
The treatment for stress generally involves making some behavioral and lifestyle changes in a person suffering from stress. This mode of treatment does not have any side-effects and nobody in general is ineligible for this treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Some of the side-effects of medicines to treat anxiety are low blood pressure, nausea, libido, depression, lack of coordination, emotional dysfunction, memory loss and decrease in IQ. A person suffering from stress may take anti-depressants to alleviate the symptoms. The side-effects of anti-depressants include headache, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, dizziness and weight gain/loss. The behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes do not produce much side-effects.
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
It is difficult to point out the post-treatment guidelines for stress as the condition requires constant monitoring and management. However, there are some guidelines that a person can follow to prevent stress after he/she has undertaken stress management procedure and taken medications. These are: reducing intake of alcohol, drugs and caffeine as these substances make the condition worse. A person should be a little organized and focus on what is important rather than losing their sleep over trivial issues. A person should put some time aside for himself/herself each day so that he/she can use that time to relax, organize and do whatever he/she wants to do.
How long does it take to recover?
Stress is a condition where a person’s body responds to perceptions of stress or danger. It is essentially an emotional and psychological condition that can be triggered by a number of ways. A person can use stress management techniques, self-help techniques and medication to keep stress at bay. But the recovery depends on the resolve of the patient and also on his ability to address the root of the problem. Hence, it is difficult to determine how long it will take to overcome stress.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
A doctor may charge anything between Rs 500 – Rs 1500 for a check-up. He will provide useful tips about how to keep stress at bay. Antidepressants may cost anything between Rs 26 – Rs 1650 in India and it depends on the composition and quantity of the medicine. A person can suffer from stress due to some mental condition. Treatment of stress, in this case, will require the treatment of the mental disorder. In such a scenario, a person will have to spend much more.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
Stress is an emotional and psychological response to some external trigger. There are different approaches by which stress can be managed. However, there is no permanent treatment for stress as a person may feel stressed due to a number of factors even after undergoing treatment. He will have to adhere to some strict guidelines and will have to make serious lifestyle changes to prevent stress. However, this is not always possible in today’s cut-throat world.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Some research studies have shown that the effects of white passionflower are comparable to benzodiazepine drugs and, thus, can be used to treat stress. A good massage by a trained person can help to relieve stress almost immediately. Today’s generation are hooked onto their gadgets- whether it is mobile or laptop or tablet. Disconnecting from these gadgets can help to relax and ultimately prevent oneself from getting stressed. Aromatherapy can also bring immediate relief from stress by elevating mood, reducing anxiety and helping the person to focus and concentrate.
Rs 26 - Rs 1650