Is a Significant Stressor Affecting Your Mood or Emotional and Mental Health?
Life can be tough at times. Sometimes there are chronic stressors and at other times there are unexpected curveballs. Sometimes the cliche “when it rains it pours” feels truer than ever.
You probably typically see yourself as strong and resilient, but maybe you’ve been carrying the weight for too long or something painful and unexpected happened and now you feel like the stress is interfering with your mental and emotional health.
I view mental health concerns through what’s called the stress-vulnerability model. Various factors contribute to how vulnerable or resilient we might be to experiencing mental health concerns like depression or anxiety. These include foundational characteristics like biology, early life experiences, and our personality. They're the things that set-up how much and what types of stress we'll be able to easily bounce back from in life.
The stress is the thing that can bring us to the tipping point. Some of us can carry more than others, or certain types of stress better than others. But all of us become vulnerable at some point. None of us can carry an endless amount of stress or painful life events.
For instance, someone who is biologically predisposed to depression may or may not ever experience depression depending on the stressors in their life—and not only depending on the stressors but whether there is enough support that helps that person remain resilient--such as strong social or family relationships, a spiritual practice, a stable and happy job environment, good health, etc. The person biologically predisposed may experience depression after a stressful event without those supports in place.
In New York City, you might be more likely to lack strong social or family support due to moving here as an adult. You also may be more likely to have a very stressful job or demanding boss. New York is also a very competitive environment, so you might expect a lot from yourself: physically, socially, financially, creatively. If you experience a new health concern, a broken relationship, the loss of a job, a traumatic event, loneliness, difficulty dating, or just the feeling that you aren't living up to your or others expectations, it can be easy to develop a mental/emotional health disorder in your attempt to cope. Many New Yorkers can take a lot of stress but sometimes one added thing causes you to reach the tipping point.
I have experience helping individuals who suspect they may be experiencing the following mental health concerns:
adjustment disorder (adjusting to a new or chronic stressor or circumstance, such as moving, changing jobs, acquiring a health issue)
Even if you feel that you are just beginning to have symptoms of one of the above, such as persistent low mood or anxious thoughts that interfere with sleep or responsibilities, it can be a really good time to seek support.
Group therapy is an excellent way to get support for stress and mental health concerns. I lead an amazing group for women in Murray Hill (E. 35 & Lex) on Monday nights. Members are individually selected to make sure they are a good fit for each other. You can find out more here.
Individual psychotherapy and counseling are also wonderful ways to get support and move forward. If you are interested in individual psychotherapy, please contact me for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.. I would love to learn more about your concerns: 917-689-6530 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org