Myth #1: If I had a stress-related illness then I’m weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all exposed to different amounts of stress, and everyone has a different way of coping. Too much stress can overload anyone’s coping skills.
Myth #2: If I have a stress-related illness then it’s not real, or it’s “all in my head.” Wrong again! Too much stress will make any physical illness worse, which will increase stress, creating a vicious cycle. Therefore, it must be stopped.
Myth #3: If my doctor refers me to a psychologist or psychiatrist then he thinks I’m crazy. Doctors can make referrals when they feel you need more expert attention. Psychologists and psychiatrists are professionals who specialize in helping people deal with stress. Your doctor does not view a referral to psychologist or psychiatrist as being any different from a referral to a heart specialist, bone specialists, etc.
Myth #4: If you a stress-related illness then I will know about it. Most of this time it’s true, but not always. Ask your loved ones or close friends if they have noticed that you may have been moodier or irritable and if so this may be a sign of hidden stress.
Myth #5: There is no proper treatment for stress – Wrong again! Once recognized stress is very treatable. If you have symptoms of anxiety or depression for greater than 4 to 6 weeks; or if the symptoms are severe or overwhelming then see your physician.
About Morgan Ashurst, MD