Stress is an inescapable part of life – indeed a low level of stress may actually help you to perform better at tasks or in one or more of the many roles you have in your life.

If stress is unrelenting and especially when the levels of stress increase you may experience symptoms of distress that include anxiety, low mood and physical sensations causing you discomfort. Sometimes a sudden and unforeseen event provokes an extreme reaction from us and so causes us to experience high levels of stress.

Stress can increase to very high levels following natural disasters and other catastrophic events. These are extraordinarily stressful—both to survivors and observers. Such disasters can shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world. Whether or not you were directly impacted by the traumatic event, it’s normal to sometimes feel anxious, scared, and uncertain about what the future may bring.

After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. But if the upset doesn’t fade and you feel stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can seem like you’ll never get over what happened or feel normal again. But by seeking treatment, reaching out for support, and developing new coping skills, you can overcome PTSD and move on with your life.

If your stress seems to be building and especially if you’ve recently experienced a traumatic event we suggest you get some help. You can start with your GP, a counsellor or come and talk with one of our peer support team here at MHAPS. They can help you to better understand what’s happening to you and assist you to make choices, whether those choices are about treatment or about learning some tools and techniques to effectively manage stress yourself.