Mental Illness and Stress: A Vicious Circle

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

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Mental Illness and Stress: A Vicious Circle

Mental Illness and Stress: A Vicious Circle

Living with a mental illness can be stressful. While each mental illness is unique, they all share some common elements. They are complex illnesses of the brain that impact the whole person: thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. No wonder, then, that mental illness is almost synonymous with the word stress. (Take our online stress test.)

As if the disruptive activity in the brain weren't stressful enough, life itself is full of stressors. Unfortunately, just as mental illness contributes to stress, stress can exacerbate mental illness. This, in turn, increases stress, which again causes mental health symptoms to worsen.

Does this mean that people with mental illness are doomed to lead a life filled with stress and mental health challenges? Absolutely not! There are ways to manage stress and mental illness.

  • Practice self-care by eating well, taking breaks, and getting enough sleep
  • Notice what you're experiencing (thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sensations in your body)
  • Step aside from what you notice and question it (for example, are your current stressed-out thoughts realistic; are your emotions too strong for the situation?), then keep reminding yourself that you are separate from these thoughts and emotions
  • Soothe yourself by doing something you enjoy

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Illness and Stress

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Today’s Question: When stress makes your mental illness symptoms worse, how do you deal with it? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Intense Anxiety and the Highly Sensitive Person
  2. Dealing With PTSD Symptoms After Leaving Abuse
  3. What is Dependent Personality Disorder?

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Study Identifies Roadblocks To Mental Health Services For Adolescents Affected By Bullying
  • Children In Foster Care Three Times More Likely To Have ADHD Diagnosis
  • Skin-To-Skin Contact After Birth Reduces Stress Levels For Mothers
  • People With Sedentary Lifestyles Are At Increased Risk Of Developing Kidney Disease
  • Stroke In Marijuana Users Linked To Arterial Stenosis
  • Lack Of Face-To-Face Contact Almost Doubles Depression Risk For Older Adults
  • Oxytocin Has Social, Emotional And Behavioral Benefits In Young Kids With Autism

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
(2015, October 26). Mental Illness and Stress: A Vicious Circle, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Last Updated: October 27, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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