The causes of distress are varied and differ from person to person. The causes can be a range of external factors; however, the reasons have a much deeper, psychological influence which affects the way different people respond to different circumstances.
Most people most of the time behave within the accepted norms of society. However, occasionally the emotions may become too powerful or the control which people have over their emotional feelings relaxes, resulting in a display of emotion which is recognised as distress.
People commonly become distressed when:
* They are informed of the death or serious illness of someone close to them
* They receive other bad or worrying news
* There is an overload of work or family pressures
* They are reacting to the behaviour of others towards them
* They are deprived of information and are fearful
* They are anxious of an upcoming event
There are some general clues that may show that a person is becoming distressed:
* Their voice may be raised or at a higher pitch than usual
* Their facial expression may change
* The pupils could be dilated and their eyes open wider
* Their body language would show agitation, they may become aggressive
* Their face and neck are likely to redden
* They may sweat excessively
A person who is distressed may become very quiet and withdrawn, and not want to talk; they may turn away from you and not make eye contact. Their self-esteem may be very low. Body language may appear closed and even negative.
Sometimes people who are distressed may appear angry; they may do all the talking and control the conversation, and not be prepared to listen. This can be difficult because you may feel that you are not able to have your say and to help them. A person may talk a different language which will make communication even more difficult.
It may be very upsetting to deal with someone who is distressed. People’s experiences can be so...